Unusual creatures uncovered beneath an Antarctic ice shelf

The organisms were anchored to a boulder 900 meters beneath the ice, living a cold, dark existence miles away from the open ocean.

Credit: Huw Griffiths/British Antarctic Survey
  • A new study details the discovery of sessile organisms living under the Antarctic's Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf.
  • In recent years, scientists have discovered more creatures living in environments once thought inhospitable to life.
  • It's currently unknown how these new organisms find food in such an environment, nor how plentiful they are beneath the continent's ice-blanketed coastlines.
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    Marine biologists discover 4 new types of photoreceptor

    How do these little beasties detect light anyway?

    Credit: dnz/Adobe Stock
  • The ocean is full of simple single-celled organisms that somehow follow day-night cycles.
  • Researchers have just discovered four new groups of photoreceptors that help the organisms detect light.
  • The photoreceptors may find use in studies of the human brain.
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    NOAA discovers a new, beautifully weird sea creature

    Exceptionally high-quality videos allow scientists to formally introduce a remarkable new comb jelly.

    • Gorgeous simplicity characterizes the comb jelly recently discovered by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries.
    • The small denizen of the deep was spotted three times beneath the waters off Puerto Rico.
    • Though it's unusual to formally identify an animal strictly based on video observations, the quality of NOAA's video made it possible in a case where there's no better alternative.
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    A Chinese plant has evolved to hide from humans

    Researchers document the first example of evolutionary changes in a plant in response to humans.

    Credit: MEDIAIMAG/Adobe Stock
    • A plant coveted in China for its medicinal properties has developed camouflage that makes it less likely to be spotted and pulled up from the ground.
    • In areas where the plant isn't often picked, it's bright green. In harvested areas, it's now a gray that blends into its rocky surroundings.
    • Herbalists in China have been picking the Fritillaria dealvayi plant for 2,000 years.
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    Here’s a map of Mars with as much water as Earth

    A 71% wet Mars would have two major land masses and one giant 'Medimartian Sea.'

    Image: A.R. Bhattarai, reproduced with kind permission
    • Sci-fi visions of Mars have changed over time, in step with humanity's own obsessions.
    • Once the source of alien invaders, the Red Planet is now deemed ripe for terraforming.
    • Here's an extreme example: Mars with exactly as much surface water as Earth.
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