“Lost World” of Odd Species Found Off Antarctica
Photograph courtesy NERC CHESSO Consortium
An unnamed new species of Yeti crab swarms near hot, mineral-rich hydrothermal vents in the oceans off Antarctica—a newfound “lost world” of strange deep-sea species, scientists say.
A camera-equipped submersible robot filmed species such as barnacles, crabs, anemones, and even an octopus, all of which are mostly colorless and live in utter darkness at depths of 7,875 feet (2,400 meters), according to a new study.
About 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) east of the southern tip of South America, “this is a new province of deep-sea life, something like a new continent, and it’s a place we’ve been trying to [reach] for a long time,” said study co-author Jon Copley, a marine biologist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.
The species of Antarctica’s “lost world” were described this week in the journalPLoS Biology.