- ‘Evidence of life’ found 200 meters below ice layer in Antarctica
- 77 new species of organisms found under ‘layer of ice’, scientists surprised
- There is a famine of food and light at a depth of 200 meters under the snow
Under the ice layer of Antarctica, as you go deeper, the atmosphere will become difficult for ‘life’. By going to a place, this environment becomes extremely cold and full of darkness, where the sources of food are almost non-existent. Although such organisms are found on Earth, they can survive even in the harshest environments. But it’s really hard to imagine life at this point. Despite this, scientists have achieved great success in this area.
Scientists have made an astonishing discovery of 77 species in the extreme conditions of Antarctica. Evidence has also been found that these ‘evidences of life’ are about 6000 years old. Research from Germany has found that these species include sword-shaped algae and some unusual insects. Using hot water, the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) team dug two pits about 200 meters (656 ft) deep. The team did this excavation in 2018 on the Ekstrom Ice Shelf near Neumayer Station III in the southeast Weddell Sea.
richer than those found on the surface
Despite being several miles away from the open ocean, scientists have collected specimens with extremely rich biodiversity. Rather they are richer than some specimens found above the continental shelf, where both light and food are found. The remains of life found from the ocean floor are extraordinary and unexpected, the researchers said. These 77 species include sword-shaped bryozoans such as Melicerita obliqua and spiralid insects such as Paralospira sicula.
Still difficult to imagine life in this environment
Dr David Burnes, a marine biologist and lead researcher at the British Antarctic Survey, said the finding of life under extreme conditions is an “astonishing discovery”. It tells us how unique and special the marine life of Antarctica is. It is wonderful that we got the evidence of so many organisms but still no plant or animal can survive in this environment.
So the question is, how does this life exist here? The team concluded that there may be enough algae beneath the ice shelf from open water to promote a strong food chain.