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Scientists Discover Fish Under Antarctic Ice

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posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 11:51 PM
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a reply to: mc_squared

Finding life (or irrefutable evidence of it) outside of Earth will be quite literally, the biggest discovery ever and I hope to be around to see it as well. If it were up to me, we'd double the NASA budget and pursue more aggressive timelines for some of these planned missions like the Europa Clipper.




posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: stormcell

True, but even emitting or finding food sources using their bioluminescence doesn't really necessitate "regular" eyes. I guess it's possible that they're migratory and actually travel in and out of the open ocean, but I couldn't imagine that being the case with such a small fish.

Speculation on this stuff is fun.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 09:18 AM
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Life will find a way.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 09:26 AM
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I bet, because of the pressure there, that they are dense fish. I bet there would be a great texture to the meat. That sure requires a lot of fishing line on your reel to fish there though. I wonder what bait you would need for that venture.

I bet someone there will eat one before they abandon that venture. Unless, of course, they are all vegetarian scientists.
edit on 22-1-2015 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 09:28 AM
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originally posted by: NavyDoc
Life will find a way...


...to make FISHSTICKS!

It's the right shape already. Some breading, a bit of oil, and bob's your uncle. Proper chips, a bit of vinegar, I'm set.

Who's to say this isn't connected to the open ocean down there? Maybe they swam in.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 09:40 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam



Who's to say this isn't connected to the open ocean down there? Maybe they swam in.

The fact that they have eyes would lead me to believe this possibility. I too was surprised to see that they have eyes in a completely dark environment.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 04:42 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

Well it is connected to the open ocean. The point where they drilled is approximately 530 miles away from the edge of the shelf (and the open ocean).

There are plenty examples of species that occupy the abyssal and hadal zones that have eyes despite the fact that no sunlight penetrates to those depths. In fact, many of these have developed bioluminescence.

I didn't read anything indicating that they did, but I wonder if they recorded any footage with the ROV lights off?



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 05:59 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Good points.
It would be interesting to know if they ran with light off.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 05:59 PM
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DP...
edit on b000000312015-01-22T18:00:37-06:0006America/ChicagoThu, 22 Jan 2015 18:00:37 -0600600000015 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 06:05 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

There are a ton of reasons for the little guy to be there. Some of them don't even have anything to do with a permanent presence.

It is possible that they only exist there on a temporary basis when certain conditions make it amenable to life, for example. It's also possible that is a juvenile of a larger species and the young use the ice shelf as a place to gain a foothold in life before they hit the open ocean.

There may be currents underneath the ice that bring in nutrients. Just barely enough to sustain a small system ...

Just finding out that it isn't a total desert is interesting, but I didn't expect it would be. If life can find a way on the stark depths of the ocean floor, then why wouldn't it figure out how to use the space underneath the ice too?



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko


It is possible that they only exist there on a temporary basis when certain conditions make it amenable to life, for example. It's also possible that is a juvenile of a larger species and the young use the ice shelf as a place to gain a foothold in life before they hit the open ocean.


Anything's possible. Some salmon swim 900 miles or so upstream to spawn. I guess we'll have to wait to see what the ichthyologists say in regards to the identification of the fish seen.


There may be currents underneath the ice that bring in nutrients. Just barely enough to sustain a small system.


If I'm not mistaken the only time water from the Circumpolar Deep Water current (which circles Antarctica) moves under any of the ice shelves is through force of wind and the Ross Ice Shelf is the largest (about the size of France):



So it seems unlikely that there are any currents flowing anywhere near that far under the ice.


Just finding out that it isn't a total desert is interesting, but I didn't expect it would be. If life can find a way on the stark depths of the ocean floor, then why wouldn't it figure out how to use the space underneath the ice too?


One major source of nutrients that would be found in the abyssal and hadal zones is marine snow which is basically the organic matter that drifts down from the upper layers of the water column.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 07:41 PM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian

Anything's possible. Some salmon swim 900 miles or so upstream to spawn...


Now, isn't THAT an interesting thought. Maybe they used to swim upstream to spawn before Antarctica became ice world. And now they're coming as close as they can, through ice channels.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

That is an interesting thought indeed but given that the last time rivers were flowing on Antarctica was something like 15 million years ago or longer, I'm skeptical.



EDIT:

There's an article about the drilling/discovery on Live Science that offers a hypothesis about a potential source of nutrients:


But the rocky seafloor was devoid of life. Tulaczyk said he thinks rocks that are constantly melting out of the ice sheet are responsible for the desolate conditions. Glacial ice can carry dust that is finer than flour or boulders bigger than buses.

"Forms of life that are sedentary will be stoned to death," he told Live Science from McMurdo Station in Antarctica. "The only things that can successfully explore food resources are things that can swim."

Yet the debris may also deliver much-needed nutrients — scarce in this dark, plankton-free world — in the form of ancient, carbon-rich marine sediments. For instance, ice cores brought up from the borehole contained shells called diatoms, the remains of microscopic marine creatures that lived and died before Antarctica froze over. "It could be we're looking at an old ecosystem eroding from the ice," Tulaczyk said.


It also mentions something that else that I didn't remember reading in the Scientific American article: the fish are about eight inches long (which is a lot longer than I assumed from the picture).
edit on 2015-1-22 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 08:33 PM
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Of course there are plenty of active volcanos on the continent under the ice. It's also possible there is hydrothermal activity carrying on under there too. They are still discovering volcanos under the sea they didn't know were there all the time.

Understand I'm just throwing out ideas as they pop up. Raw brainstorming.



posted on Jan, 22 2015 @ 08:42 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I know there are hydrothermal vents off the coast of Antarctica, I'm not sure about under the Ross Ice Shelf.

New Scientist: Antarctic hydrothermal vents like no other on Earth (Jan 2012)



That's a whole lot of yeti crabs.




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