In a scientific discovery harking back to the plot of 1982 science-fiction thriller “The Factor,” researchers have found life in Antarctica that theoretically shouldn’t exist.
As a substitute of a grotesque, shapeshifting alien parasite, although, these lifeforms are sponges, together with what look like barnacles.
They have been found after scientists with the British Antarctic Survey drilled beneath a bit of the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, which is greater than 2,950 toes thick, in northwestern Antarctica.
The crew lowered a digicam into the ice shelf gap to see what lay beneath and filmed the organisms clinging to a boulder – the primary time that such life varieties have been recorded beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets.
Based on the crew’s findings, printed Monday within the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, the sponges and suspected barnacles look like filter feeders, which feed by pulling out phytoplankton and different microscopic organisms from water.
Huw Griffiths, one of many authors on the research who analyzed the footage from the expedition, informed New Scientist journal that “there’s all types of causes they shouldn’t be there” and mentioned that the closest supply of daylight ― wanted by phytoplankton to outlive ― was about 370 miles away.
Nonetheless, the invention hints that the seemingly harsh waters beneath Antarctica’s ice could also be extra life-sustaining than initially thought.
“It’s a spot the place, primarily, we didn’t anticipate this sort of group to dwell in any respect,” Griffiths informed Dwell Science. “That is exhibiting us that life is extra resilient, and extra sturdy than we ever may have anticipated, if it might probably put up with these circumstances.”
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