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I am quite certain that when we were all kids that we wanted to be responsible for the discovery of something new that nobody ever knew about.

It’s why when I was younger that I would go into the crawlspace under our house as if I was on some expedition to find some kind of unearthed treasure. All I ever found was an old coffee can that the guys that built the house left under there decades ago.

At the end of the day, it’s always pretty cool to see something like that happen, when someone finds something new that had thought to not even exist.

A team of British scientists were surprised to find life thousands of feet beneath the ice of Antarctica, in a sub-freezing environment where sunlight never reaches. The discovery happened during an exploratory mission at the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf when a team of geologists hit a rock instead of the ocean floor after drilling through 3,000 feet of ice.

“We were expecting to retrieve a sediment core from under the ice shelf, so it came as a bit of a surprise when we hit the boulder and saw from the video footage that there were animals living on it,” said Dr. James Smith, a geologist at the British Antarctic Survey.

The find was recorded with a GoPro camera lowered into the hole. BAS researchers describe the organisms they found attached to the boulder as sponges and “potentially several previously unknown species.”
“This discovery is one of those fortunate accidents that pushes ideas in a different direction and shows us that Antarctic marine life is incredibly special and amazingly adapted to a frozen world,” says biogeographer and lead author, Dr. Huw Griffiths of British Antarctic Survey.

Griffiths told the New Scientist that there are “all sorts of reasons they shouldn’t be there.” A looming question is how the organisms are feeding, since researchers calculate that the closest source of photosynthesis is more than 900 miles away.

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