WILD NATURE

Creatures of the 'Lost World': Found at Antarctic Vents

Species of creatures previously unknown to science have been discovered on the seafloor near Antarctica, clustered in the hot, dark environment surrounding hydrothermal vents.

Lost World Antarctica: yeti crabs

These yeti crabs seem to cultivate "gardens" of bacteria on their chests, which are covered with hairy tendrils. These bacterial mats almost certainly provides the crabs with sustenance.

NERC ChEsSo Consortium

Lost World Antarctica: Anemones bacteria and barnacles E9

Scientists doing their first exploring of deep-sea vents in the Antarctic found the crabs -- along with a whole world populated by new species of anemones and predatory sea stars.

 

NERC ChEsSo Consortium

Lost World Antarctica: Black smoker E2

In the dayless world of deep-sea vents, energy comes not from the sun but from the hydrothermal energy generated in the oceanic crust -- and vents through so called "black smokers" like this one.

NERC ChEsSo Consortium

Lost World Antarctica: South Georgia ADR

A view of South Georgia island, considered one of the more "temperate" islands and a great spot to see Emperor and King penguins.

Alex Rogers

Lost World Antarctica: King penguin South Georgia ADR

Above the freezing seas, a King Penguin catches rays on South Georgia island.

Alex Rogers

Lost World Antarctica: Humpback whale with eye ADR

A humpback whale skims just below the surface of the waves. 

Alex Rogers

Lost World Antarctica: RRS James Clark Ross ADR

Dives with a remotely operated vehicle designed to brave the icy waters were conducted with the help of the crews of RRS James Cook and RRS James Clark Ross.

Alex Rogers

Lost World Antarctica: Isis ROV ADR

Named Isis, the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) allowed exploration of the East Scotia Ridge deep beneath the Southern Ocean -- where hydrothermal vents including "black smokers" reach temperatures of up to 382 degrees Celsius.

Alex Rogers

Lost World Antarctica: ROV control room 2 ADR

A control room where scientists monitor the view from the ROV, deep beneath the waves. 

Alex Rogers

Lost World Antarctica: Minke whales ADR

Meanwhile on the ocean surface, Minke whales cavort and play in the cold water.

Alex Rogers

Lost World Antarctica: Vent predators - sea stars

Back beneath the waves, a previously undescribed seastar with seven arms -- a predator that inhabits the warm waters near the vent -- crawls across fields of stalked barnacles.

NERC ChEsSo Consortium

Lost World Antarctica: Vulcanolepas and Kiwa

Esoteric anemone such as these Vulcanolepas and Kiwa also dwell in the cold dark ocean.

NERC ChEsSo Consortium

Creatures of the 'Lost World': Found at Antarctic Vents

Species of creatures previously unknown to science have been discovered on the seafloor near Antarctica, clustered in the hot, dark environment surrounding hydrothermal vents.

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