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Late last month, a NASA satellite flying over East Antarctica spotted swirls of green off the Princess Astrid Coast that left experts wondering just what it was. Such a pattern usually indicates a bloom of tiny plantlike organisms called phytoplankton, which form the base of the ocean food chain. Such blooms are common along the Antarctic coast, but typically form in early December, in the austral spring, not so late in the summer season, according to experts consulted by NASA. "It doesn't look like a phytoplankton bloom to me," Stanford University marine biologist Kevin Arrigo, who led NASA's ICESCAPE expeditions to the Arctic in 2010 and 2011, told NASA. "The spatial pattern resembles the sea ice too closely. It looks suspiciously like green sea ice. Plus, it’s very late for such a bloom in the Antarctic."
Such blooms are common along the Antarctic coast, but typically form in early December, in the austral spring, not so late in the summer season, according to experts consulted by NASA.
Luckily, Lieser's colleagues aboard the vessel Aurora Australis were in a position to do just that.
Algae can withstand boiling hot as well as freezing cold temperatures. Such algae can be found growing in hot springs, in snow-drifts or deep down inside polar ice.