Amphipod Stops to Ask NASA for Directions

A pretty cool little discovery! Amphipod hanging out down below 600 feet of ice in an isolated Antarctic basin. Is it lost?? What are you doing there amphipod!? Of course this begs the question of where the heck is it getting its food from? Vents under the ice? Plesiosaur falls from a lost world?

As reported from NASA:

At a depth of 600 feet beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, a small shrimp-like creature managed to brighten up an otherwise gray polar day in late November 2009. This critter is a three-inch long Lyssianasid amphipod found beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, about 12.5 miles away from open water. NASA scientists were using a borehole camera to look back up towards the ice surface when they spotted this pinkish-orange creature swimming beneath the ice. Credit: NASA

10 Replies to “Amphipod Stops to Ask NASA for Directions”

  1. I’m a little confused about why they _didn’t_ expect to find anything. Why shouldn’t the underside of a 600-foot-thick ice shelf have critters?

  2. Honestly, I am with Karen on this one, I fail to understand what make this special? What are we missing?

  3. I totally agree. It was disconnected to open water though. But lets be honest here, we’ve found metazoan life some frikkin strange places! Besides, give NASA a break they are just trying to get excited about something on Earth ;p

  4. If they had turned the camera around, they would discover that the sea bed here is crawling with life like this little fella. Thas has been known by Norwegian marine biologists – and others – for decades. NASA obviously has a lot to learn…

  5. LOL I was thinking the same thing about the camera. Especially at the end of the video where the camera does go under the ice. Need to send an auv down there and map it out. Probably some hydrothermal vents on a little ridge system down there, much like the Arctic up your way.

  6. I have something inside my body eating me & I’ve been diagnosed with an arthropod bite. I have these jelly-like feeders in my body & on my skin.. it has all Dr.’s confused. No one can seem to figure this out…I also can see where it has molded itself in the wood around my house. Can you help me? Desperately seeking answers

  7. Does anyone know how long the glacier has been there or how long this lake has been cut off from the sea. I would assume that this is a fresh water species. How many terestrial or fresh water animal species are endemic to antartica? Did penguins(Sphenisciformes) evolve in antarctica? Is this little criter the last living endemic animal of the whole continent. Antartica used to be teaming with life before the continent moved south to it’s present location. just a thought

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