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New Antarctic deep sea creatures discovered
By Mike Swaine from the Daily Mirror:
Amazing creatures, never seen before, have been found living deep beneath the sea in a lost, dark underworld.
They include a new kind of octopus discovered living one and a half miles below the surface – and a kind of “yeti crab” nicknamed the Hoff by scientists because it has a a hairy chest like David Hasselhoff.
The remarkable discovery of the new forms of life around deep hot volcanic vents have changed the theories of scientists on how life has developed in the deep ocean.
They had been expecting to find similar life to other vents in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Instead they discovered a unique world which may have existed in isolation for the last 15 million years.
Researchers braved severe storms and 16 metre swells to find the volcanic hot vents on the East Scotia ridge which runs under the Southern Ocean to Antarctica.
Temperatures reach up to 382C in the chimney-like vents but the waters are rich in certain chemicals.
“Hydrothermal vents are home to animals found nowhere else on the planet that get their energy not from the Sun but from breaking down chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide,” said Professor Alex Rogers of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, who led the research, published in Plos Biology.
Scientists lowered a Remote Operated Vehicle the size of a mini-bus down to depths of 2,400 metres and were astonished by the pictures being beamed back.
Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-world/2012/01/03/amazing-new-sea-creatures-the-pale-octopus-and-yeti-crab-discovered-deep-in-the-ocean-video-115875-23677572/#ixzz1iX4lQd4l
Read the complete article here.