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Many New Species Found Under Antarctica 173

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the natures-basement dept.
gt_mattex writes to tell us The Globe and Mail is reporting that quite a few new species have been found in the ocean beneath the Antarctic ice. From the article: "It is too early to say exactly how many new species were discovered in the Antarctic, many in the Weddell Sea, where ice crushed the ship of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton in 1915. The scientists saw more strange creatures than familiar ones, says Ron O'Dor, an expert in octopuses and squid from Halifax's Dalhousie University and the chief scientist in charge of producing the first marine life census of the planet by 2010."
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Many New Species Found Under Antarctica

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  • by the_tsi (19767) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:36PM (#17202796)
    Is this the initial stage of the Second Impact?
  • Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sneakernets (1026296) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:37PM (#17202804) Journal
    It's been millenia and we still don't know all the life on our planet. I always look forward to articles like this, they really tell us how little we do know.
    • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LiquidMind (150126) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:09PM (#17203084)
      i've been thinking about that too, especially about the life that resides at the bottom of our oceans....
      how interesting (and suicidal, but bear with me) would it be to somehow drain all the oceans of water just to see what's left over...
      • i'm with you (Score:5, Interesting)

        by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:37PM (#17203246) Homepage Journal
        take the common wood louse [google.com], that you can find under any rock in any forest

        now, blow it up a thousand fold in size

        there you go [google.com], running around the ocean floor

        amazing indeed
      • by dhj (110274) *
        That is an interesting thought. Although I think the result would be an ocean floor stacked deep with bloated carcasses. A fishing boat goes out and cuts a net size cylinder out of the ocean, returning with a huge pile of fish. It doesn't take long (hundreds of yards) for a shrimp boat to haul up a net full of shrimp and crabs from the bottom in the Gulf of Mexico (highly recommend shrimping if you get the chance). If you took a square meter at the surface and condensed all the volume of the rectangular
      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

        by StikyPad (445176) on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:19PM (#17203468) Homepage
        Drain the oceans?!? That's ridiculous -- where would they go??? I guess you could find something that sucks really hard, like Digg, put a straw in it, and plop it on the beach.

        But it would make much more sense to rapidly evaporate all of them, perhaps with a large scale hairdryer task force and/or a few strategically placed nukes.
        • by Cadallin (863437)
          Well, not draining per se but one could hypothetically ignite a sufficiently large thermonuclear device to burn off the atmosphere and oceans. However, that wouldn't leave the desired residue for subsequent study. More effective would probably be a number of space elevators launching the oceans bucket by bucket into space. however, nukes are much faster.
        • "But it would make much more sense to rapidly evaporate all of them, perhaps with a large scale hairdryer task force and/or a few strategically placed nukes."

          If you cause it to rain here in L.A., I'm going to drive to wherever you live and kick your ass. That is.. assuming I can find a road that leads out of this city.
        • Drain the oceans?!? That's ridiculous -- where would they go???

          Into the basement of the Fat Man's Club of Trenton, New Jersey.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geobeck (924637)

      It's been millenia and we still don't know all the life on our planet. I always look forward to articles like this, they really tell us how little we do know.

      I just finished a Microbiology intro course where the instructor kept stressing that. You think it's amazing how many macroscopic species we are still discovering; that's nothing compared to the unknown species of bacteria that are right under our noses--and that could be quite literal.

      It seems that life on Earth, as far as the number of species

  • by chabotc (22496) <chabotc.gmail@com> on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:37PM (#17202808) Homepage
    "A school of fish the size of Manhattan off the New Jersey coast. About 20 million herring were travelling together."

    That soon we'll find ways to make ocean life go extinct in those parts which so far relativly are protected from our interferance.. With our normal area's of fishing drying up quickly, how long will it take before we go and do our thing there too ... *sigh*
    • by nog_lorp (896553) * on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:59PM (#17202988)
      Don't you worry! We will have those scary new species gone in no time!
      • "A shrimp believed extinct for 50 million years ago was found on an underwater peak in the Coral Sea near Australia. It is has been nicknamed Jurassic Shrimp. It is the same colour as modern shrimp, but looks bulkier."

        But how does it taste? What if it is better than all other shrimp!
    • that little nugget of news was reason to find cheer, i think

      a colossal school of herring? off new jersey? isn't that good news?

      why the despondent reaction to that news item? there are certainly tons of news items to find depressing reactions to about ocean life and man's hungry stomach... but that particular nugget of news is reason to cheer, don't you think?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by node 3 (115640)
        It's like finding a pocket of air in a sinking ship. The good news is far overshadowed by the bad news.
        • to count their blessings

          if everything is doom and gloom to you, you soon sap any ability to keep working for improvement in the world

          it means you've already given up

          in a way, you've betrayed whatever it is you care about

          find heart to carry on, or stop talking about the subject matter entirely

          but to continue talking about something with pessimism, to continue talking about anything with pessimism, helps no one and nothing, including yourself

          so stop talking about it and move on, or change your attitude about
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            "so stop talking about it and move on, or change your attitude about life in the ocean"

            I can attest to that.

            I used to believe it would be the worst thing in the world. If it was forced upon me, I thought, I would surely die rather than submit to such a harsh and painful existence. How could I eat? How could I breathe? Both would come at significant hardship, all as my skin shrivelled and those few comforts I'd brought from my land-dwelling past rusted away.

            Yes, I was someone who, like many, clung to the
            • by Fred_A (10934)
              This is what changed my attitude about life in the ocean, and that is what, I hope, will help you change yours.

              So, uh, how do you protect your computer from corrosion ?
          • Some people really need to learn to count their blessings
            if everything is doom and gloom to you, you soon sap any ability to keep working for improvement in the world
            it means you've already given up
            in a way, you've betrayed whatever it is you care about

            I agree, for the most part, with what you say here. If you give up, you have betrayed whatever or whoever you care about. One should not give up.

            Find heart to carry on, or stop talking about the subject matter entirely
            but to continue talking about something with pessimism, to continue talking about anything with pessimism, helps no one and nothing, including yourself
            so stop talking about it and move on, or change your attitude about life in the ocean

            I think you are being overly harsh here. Should everyone disgusted with environmental abuses hide their voice? Will that accomplish anything? Clearly the answer is "NO". But that is perhaps not enough, I think you are saying. I think you are saying, help with solutions and action, not just your criticisms... Ideally, sure, that is better... but...

            The e

          • by node 3 (115640)
            Dude, WTF are you talking about? I'm highly optimistic about ocean life. What I'm not optimistic about is how people will treat it. Being all sunshine and lollipops about it isn't going to change the actions of others. On the other hand, if I point out the idiocy of others, perhaps they will either change or be forced to change by others.
          • On the other hand, if you're ignoring everything that you consider negative, then you're not going to feel the need to improve things, and other people won't realise anything is wrong either. Just because there are a lot of fish in one place (and I did think it was pretty good news), doesn't mean we shouldn't make sure we're not overfishing..?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Detritus (11846)
        It isn't such great news if the herring are filling an ecological niche left vacant by the destruction of another species, or are present in large numbers because their natural predators have been wiped out.
    • Is 20 million herring sufficient to chop down the mightiest tree in the forest?
  • Great... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Durrok (912509) <(calltechsucks) (at) (gmail.com)> on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:38PM (#17202812) Homepage Journal
    Here comes the Second Impact. Glad I'm a couple hundred miles inland and not living in Japan...
  • ANCIENTS (Score:5, Funny)

    by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:38PM (#17202818)
    IT's the ANCIENT outpost
  • shouldn't it be... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wealthychef (584778) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:42PM (#17202846)
    "octopi and squids"? :-)
  • by clifgriffin (676199)
    I get suspicious whenever a creature purported to have gone extinct X million years ago is discovered alive and well.

    It seems to happen with some regularity.

    It seems to me, if you find a fossil of an animal you believe to be extinct, you will probably test it with the assumption it is of relatively old age.

    I think you probably find what you're looking for.

    Anyway, not trying to start a flame war. But that's probably going to happen anyway. ("YOU IGNORANT BASTARD DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW DATING WORKS!!!")
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I get suspicious whenever a creature purported to have gone extinct X million years ago is discovered alive and well.It seems to happen with some regularity.It seems to me, if you find a fossil of an animal you believe to be extinct, you will probably test it with the assumption it is of relatively old age.I think you probably find what you're looking for.Anyway, not trying to start a flame war. But that's probably going to happen anyway. ("YOU IGNORANT BASTARD DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW DATING WORKS!!!")

      You've

  • Or should that be base 256?
    • by jd (1658)
      No, they dream in salt water. Now, the salt water might dream in octal, but that's another matter.
  • The Thing (Score:2, Funny)

    by Diagoras (859063)
    "Somebody in this camp ain't what he appears to be. Right now that may be one or two of us. By spring, it could be all of us."
  • by Inverted Intellect (950622) on Monday December 11, 2006 @09:50PM (#17202902)
    The article describes some pretty odd creatures.

    I mean, without a picture of that centimeter-in-diameter protozoan, how the hell am I supposed to imagine how it looks like, much less the more important facets of such a discovery... such as how does it taste?
  • how tasty they are.
  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:20PM (#17203148) Homepage
    In the dark ocean beneath the Antarctic ice, researchers have found scores of species they've never seen before, including strange jellyfish and other gelatinous organisms that thrive without light

    My god -- it's full of geeks.
    • by dasunt (249686)

      Pffft. They sound like shoggoths to me.

      It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train a shapeless congerie of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.

      My god, what have they awakened?

      • by antic (29198)
        Compulsory watching *before* digging around in the Antarctic...

        The Thing
        Alien vs Predator

        What are these people thinking?!
  • by bendy (34731)
    Yes but have they found any evidence of Elder Things [wikipedia.org] yet? Or at the very least some Shoggoths [wikipedia.org]?
  • New...? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by djupedal (584558) on Monday December 11, 2006 @10:31PM (#17203204)
    As in just fell out of the tree of evolution?

    ...bah....

    Those critter are most likely checking out the mini-subs and shaking their heads and thinking "Oh, look! A new species!"
    • by ArsonSmith (13997)
      that's like thinking "Camels are probably telling each other their toes look like human vaginas"

      Humorous but not likely.

  • Any large black rectangular structures waiting the for the completion date? ;)
  • Hey Great! (Score:2, Funny)

    by gp310ad (77471)
    A new isle at the fish market!
  • Lake Vostok (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Timbotronic (717458) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @12:06AM (#17203800)
    It'll be interesting to see what they find in Lake Vostok [wikipedia.org], which is a freshwater lake as big as Lake Ontario and has been sealed under Antarctic ice for up to a million years.

    Could be the perfect test for a Cryobot mission to Europa [space.com]
    • by Knara (9377)

      Before I read closer I thought that's what this was, and was pretty excited.

      Any idea when that's scheduled to actually take place?

  • NASA is planning on testing Europa probes on a pocket of liquid ice buried for centuries (millennia?) within Antarctica's ice. If there is an ecosystem inside, we will contaminate it. This research indicates the possibility of such an isolated ecosystem is higher than purely theoretical.
    • by CmdrGravy (645153)
      What's the point in going to all that trouble of launching a probe into space, crashing it back in through re-entry into the arctic and then digging down into the ice when they could just as easily take a drilling rig across and simply drill down into it ?

      These boffins should concentrate on solving world hunger rather than pointless pie in the sky shenanigans like this.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        I don't think the Antarctic ice bubble would feed us all more than hors d'oeuvres. But maybe a consumme...
      • by trongey (21550)
        ...These boffins should concentrate on solving world hunger rather than pointless pie in the sky shenanigans like this.

        We've had the solution to that problem for decades - Global Thermonuclear War. Just eliminate everything that eats and you have no more hunger.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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