NASA discovers life under the Antarctic ice

Shriimp in Antarctica

A small shrimp-like creature under the Antarctic ice, as seen in a NASA video from December 2009 (AP Photo/NASA)

In a surprise discovery, a NASA team has found life 600 feet below an Antarctic ice sheet, where it’s been presumed no life could exist.

After lowering a video camera below the Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, the team was stunned to see a shrimp-like creature come swimming into view and attach itself to the cable.  The scientists were further amazed when they pulled up a tentacle believed to be from a foot-long  jellyfish.

In an environment with no perceivable light or obvious food source, scientists are faced with an enigma with the appearance of the three-inch long orange  Lyssianasid amphipod, a distant relative to shrimp.

According to a story by Seth Borenstein, this amazing and exciting find presents many questions to scientists.

“We were operating on the presumption that nothing’s there,” said NASA ice scientist Robert Bindschadler, who will be presenting the initial findings and a video at an American Geophysical Union meeting Wednesday.

This is an exciting glimpse of marine life and habitat we know so little about. Time for scientists to reevaluate their thinking about what they think they know.

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