Antarctic marine bonanza

What’s happening in the Antarctic? Researchers are looking at seabed changes that result from global warming.

The researchers catalogued about 1,000 species in an area of the Antarctic seabed where warming temperatures are believed to have caused the collapse of overlying ice shelves, affecting the marine life below.

“This is virgin geography,” said expedition member Gauthier Chapelle. “If we don’t find out what this area is like now following the collapse of the ice shelf, and what species are there, we won’t have any basis to know in 20 years’ time what has changed and how global warming has altered the marine ecosystem.”

Here’s what’s cool: lots of photos of these creatures.

You’d think this photo of an exotic octopus would be my favorite:

Paraledone turqueti

But no…this image of sea cucumbers grazing across the Antarctic sea floor is wonderfully alien. I just want to zoom in and see what they’re doing.



  1. sleepyinsaudi says

    OOOH! Those sea cucumbers are so strange and cool. Not your typical lumpy, bumpy, spongy, looks like a piece of s##t,sea cucumber.

    You can see their innards through their skin.

    It’s hard to imagine that they’re related to spiny sea urchins. I’d have never guessed by looking.

  2. Fernando Magyar says

    Hey PZ,

    Sorry to pick a nit, though the pics are truly amazing, the reason we are seeing them is anything but *cool*.

    Kinda makes me wish Al Gore was running for president.

  3. Beth says


    We all know why Global Warming is really really bad, but sometimes you have to look at the interesting side of things to keep from breaking down all together. The past fall my house mate told me she always felt guilty for enjoying the unnaturally warm, sunny days. I told her not to be because a) 99.99% of it is not her fault and b) that kind of guilt will just get you downright depressed.

    We can ooo and aaah at the neat things we get to see without thinking Global Warming is cool.


  4. dkew says

    I see only 4 photos, not “lots.” As always, I want the photos or captions to indicate dimensions. Is the octopus a centimeter or a meter across? Etc.

  5. Fernando Magyar says


    Agreed! which is why I stated that the pictures were truly amazing. I guess I’m one of those people who often sees the glass as half empty. I’m reminded of a time when I got to see the canopies of some old trees in the Brazilian litoral rainforest along the coast of Rio de Janeiro state after those trees had been cut down to make room for a housing development. There were some incredibly beautiful bromeliads and orchids that I got to see, I still wished that I had been given the opportunity by some other means.

  6. says

    I just hope that such delicate lifeforms can be preserved before the ocean’s waters become too warm to sustain these creatures. Plus they’re pretty cool to look at.