Antarctica scientist discovers ‘incredibly rare’ intact creature below ice – ‘Remarkable’

The Expedition Antarctica team took to the waters earlier this year for a 50-day journey across the Southern Ocean and beyond Antarctica. On board New Zealand’s research vessel RV Tangaroa, an international group of researchers used state-of-the-art technology to scan the seabed. The Aegis imaging system allowed scientists to capture fascinated images like nothing seen before.

While the mission is still ongoing, “The Secrets of Antarctica” documentary was released on YouTube in July revealing the amazing finds to date.

The narrator detailed: “Besides catching a mammoth toothfish, the team has also collected some of its favourite food including the glacial squid.

“Squid and octopus, fragile members of the rich and diverse cephalopod family live in every climate and at every depth.

“They may look bizarre, but they boast the biggest brains among the invertebrates.

The catch of the day, an incredibly rare deepwater octopus

Secrets of Antarctica

“Like any spineless creature, a squid’s first instinct is to hide, but a cornered one has potent weapons in its armoury, like this parrot-like beak that can deliver a nasty peck, or these lethal hooks used for snaring prey.

“Right now, Darren Stephens has snared his catch of the day, an incredibly rare deepwater octopus.”

Dr Stephens detailed his find, explaining: “This is a lovely specimen of Stauroteuthis, it’s another one of the Dumbo octopus and a very gelatinous individual.”

The narrator went on to explain why it was such an important find.

He added: “Only a handful of these octopuses have ever been found anywhere in the world.

“And this is the first intact one caught in the Ross Sea.

“The fact that it came out of the net 100 percent intact makes it even more remarkable.

“So far, Darren has collected 26 species of squid and octopus, but he yearns for the big one.”

The same team also discovered a new species during their journey.

Andrew Stewart, a leading scientist in the excavation was left stunned by the find.

He said last month: “This is why I came to Antarctica, to see things like this.”

Dr Stewart held the creature up to the camera.

He then exclaimed: “I have to look at such features as the shape of the teeth, the jaws, the shape of the gill rakers, as well as counts of the vertebrae [to determine what it is].

“Now I have no idea what species this is.

“The colour pattern on the fins is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

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