When Two Divers Explored Beneath The Antarctic Ice, They Discovered A Secret Underwater World

ADVERTISEMENT

Image: YouTube/Manila Bulletin Online
Image: YouTube/Manila Bulletin Online

Australian scientists worked on an important research project under the thick ice of East Antarctica’s O’Brien Bay in late 2016. They’d sent a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) down a hole in the ice to retrieve data logging equipment. The ROV had a camera mounted. What it showed the scientists was both completely unexpected and vividly beautiful.

Image: Micky Loederman via Australian Antarctic Division
Image: Micky Loederman via Australian Antarctic Division

The scientists were working for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), which is part of the national Department of the Environment. The Kingston, Tasmania, division operates three permanent bases in the Antarctic – Casey, Davis and Mawson. The researchers at O’Brien Bay worked out of the Casey Station.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Majormax
Image: Majormax

Casey was constructed between 1964 and 1969 near the site of a disused U.S. base, Wilkes. That had earlier become overwhelmed by the encroaching Antarctic snow and ice. The original Casey itself fell victim to corrosion caused by the ferocious Antarctic conditions. Consequently, it was rebuilt towards the end of the 1980s.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT