‘Lost world’ sea life deep in the ocean near Antarctica
Scientists have discovered what they call a ‘lost world’. Communities of species previously unknown to science have been discovered more than 2,000 metres below the surface in the Southern Ocean, near Antarctica., clustered in the hot, dark environment surrounding hydrothermal vents.
According to project leader Professor Alex Rogers of Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, these alien-looking white creatures are thriving in the rich chemicals ejected by the vents:
Hydrothermal vents are home to animals found nowhere else on the planet that get their energy not from the Sun but from breaking down chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide. The first survey of these particular vents, in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, has revealed a hot, dark, ‘lost world’ in which whole communities of previously unknown marine organisms thrive.