A Rare Discovery in the Frigid Depths of the Southern Ocean

By: | August 20th, 2023

Image Courtesy Greg W. Rouse

Witnessing scientists unravel the mysteries of a newfound oceanic species is an extraordinary event. On August 11, 2023, marine biologists made a stunning revelation that defied the odds. Within the icy waters that encompass Antarctica, they uncovered an array of fresh species, each with its own unique attributes and characteristics.

A Cool Find in the Deep Ocean

Among these remarkable findings, one species emerged as a standout, capturing the attention of researchers and enthusiasts alike. Aptly named the “Antarctic strawberry feather,” this newly revealed organism draws its name from its striking resemblance to a strawberry. Adorned with approximately 20 arms, it can change colors from a light purple to a deep red.

Exploring the Antarctic Strawberry Feather Star’s Characteristics

Despite its conspicuous presence, specific measurements of its size remain undisclosed in the study. However, researchers describe it as “large,” underscoring its notable stature. Identification was based on body shape and DNA analysis.

This species thrives in the Southern Ocean, spanning depths from around 215 feet to 3,840 feet.

The Antarctic strawberry feather star displays two distinct appendage types: shorter, bumpy arms below, and longer, feather-like arms above. Its body is triangular, wider at the top and rounded at the bottom, with bumpy textures likely caused by broken-off arms.

This discovery of the Antarctic strawberry feather star stands as evidence to the ongoing exploration of our planet’s vast oceans. Its unique attributes and remarkable adaptations continue to captivate the imagination of scientists and enthusiasts alike. It also sheds light on the fascinating diversity that thrives beneath the icy waters surrounding Antarctica.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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