Bizarre sea creatures that have never been seen before have been discovered under the ice in Antarctica, a documentary shows.
Expedition Antarctica is an ongoing mission in which an international team has used the very latest technology to scan the seabed.
The Secrets of Antarctica documentary has been shared on YouTube to document their journey.
In the video, Dr. Dave Bowden reveals that the team was stunned after finding a series of weird creatures that grow much larger than all other creatures like them and have strange characteristics.
Among the odd finds were sea lilies called crinoids – which are closely related to sea urchins – that had only been seen in fossil records before.
The scientist also shared how he found a sea spider with very large legs and a small body.
Other bizarre finds among the techies are sponges, which have no nervous or digestive systems, and which feed by filtering water through their pores.
He said, “The reason for this is that the Antarctic Continental Shelf has been isolated from the rest of the planet for many, many years.
“This is a sea spider, one of the groups that is intriguing in the Antarctica group system because they are much more diverse than the rest of the world, they get very big.
“There is a tendency in some groups to lean towards gigantism, it’s basically all legs, there’s basically no body, it’s unlike anything we know.”
He added: “Here’s an example of another beautiful beast, it’s a polychaete worm, you’ll find them under a rock, but this is much, much bigger [than normal].
There is debate as to whether Antarctica is why these things are bigger, or whether there are only descendants of this animal that evolved in Antarctica and don’t exist anywhere else.
But one of my most fascinating finds from the trip was on an undersea mountain north of the Ross Sea, where we found an extraordinary collection of sea lilies – crinoids – closely related to sea urchins.
“The main difference is that it is anchored in one position.
“The only place we’ve really seen these before is in the fossil record, we’ve never seen anything like this alive on the sea floor before.”