Deepest Dive Ever In Antarctica Reveals Sea Floor Full Of Life
Footage of the ocean floor around Antarctica has revealed that instead of being a cold, icy, wasteland, it's actually completely full of life. Bizarre, slightly terrifying life.
Towards the end of last year, the BBC's Blue Planet II blew everyone's minds with incredible footage of life in the oceans. It also made everyone have a big think about our impact on the planet's oceans and the critters that live in there.
Speaking of critters - part of the process of filming the series meant trying to get into some of the most remote and unexplored parts of the seas. As everyone knows, that's where the weirdest stuff lives - the really odd spindly things that wouldn't look out of place in a science fiction film.
To do this they enlisted the help of Alucia Productions powered by Ocean X. They specialise in getting down into every last nook and cranny that the ocean has to offer with their expensive array of submarines.
When they were shooting in Antarctica they dived to depths of around 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) below the surface of the ocean. This was the deepest that anyone had ever dived around there and what they saw was incredible.
Incredible, yes, but also weird and slightly scary.
The waters under there are unusually fertile given how barren and featureless everything is above the surface. This is because of 'marine snow' which is a frankly misleading term for organic matter that drifts down from the higher waters. Think dead skin, fish scales, and whale poo and you are off to a start.
Anyway, this marine snow provides food to all of the tiny things that live in the depths, including literally millions of krill, which are of massive importance to the whole food chain. Not everything lives off this, though.
There is a creature that the sub crew have nicknamed 'the death star'. It's basically a huge starfish with about five arms that catches tiny fish and krill before slowly eating them. Part starfish, part face-hugger, it doesn't have a whole load of natural predators down there so it grows to be very large.
The crew have released the video to start a conversation about the world's oceans as part of the 'Our Blue Planet' collaboration between Alucia Productions powered by Ocean X and BBC Earth.
Mark Taylor, a dive team leader in the sub, was shocked by the levels of diversity and life down there.
He said, "To be honest, none of us were expecting very much.
"Every single one of us were just completely blown away by the amount of life we found.
"Within a square yard there is more life in the deep of the Antarctica than there is in the reefs of the Barrier Reef of Australia."
Hopefully we can do a better job of protecting it, even if some of the creatures down there look like they need to be killed with fire.
LADbible are leading an initiative to force governments to tackle the amount of plastic in the world's oceans. You can find out more about Trash Isles here.
Featured Image Credit: Alucia Productions powered by Ocean X