Researchers discover a new ‘world’ below the Antarctic ice

Fareeha Arshad

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Recently, a new ‘hidden world’ has been discovered deep below the icy layers of Antarctica. Scientists discovered small creatures that appeared like shrimps and were hidden within the newly found habitat. This new ecosystem was present below the world’s largest iceberg, Larsen Ice Shelf, a massive layer of ice floating on the eastern coast of Antarctica.

After drilling more than 1600 feet below the ice surface, researchers passed a camera through the icy channel into the cavity formed. The scientists recorded that their camera witnessed several hundred small yet blurry structures inside the chilly water. These structures belonged to tiny crustaceans called amphipods. This was shocking because nobody expected to find any signs of life far below the surface of ice sheets.

This was not the first time something unexpected was discovered below the ice layer in Antarctica. Previously, scientists discovered a rare mineral commonly found on Mars and relatively rare on Earth. The mineral was present a mile below the Antarctic ice layer. With such unique discoveries, researchers believe that several more unknown parts of the ecosystem are waiting to be discovered beneath ice sheets in Antarctica – like large networks of water bodies and other life forms.

Scientists believe that with further studies on the newly discovered subsurface ecosystem, they hope to uncover more about the nutrients cycle that happens below the surface of Antarctica’s icy layer and how the water bodies below support the various life form present there. In addition, further studies remain to be done to understand better how climate change has been affecting the ecosystem below the Antarctic surface.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State
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