Unique discovery: Millions of ice fish breed under Antarctica | abroad

Unique discovery: Millions of ice fish breed under Antarctica |  abroad

VideoScientists have made a very special discovery. They found about 60 million active ice fish nests 500 meters below Antarctica. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said one researcher.

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The colony of ice fish was discovered in the Weddell Sea, a part of the Southern Ocean made up mostly of ice and located between Antarctica and the South American continent. German marine biologist Otton Perser, of the Alfred Wegener Institute, and his team stumbled upon the nesting site by chance while conducting another study in the Weddell Sea.

Scientists found about five hundred meters below Antarctica, about 60 million active nests of ice fish. © Alfred Wegener Institute

They were everywhere

One employee saw circular ice fish (Neopagetopsis ionah) nests all over the place. These ice fish are only found in such waters and are acclimatized to the extreme cold there. “When, half an hour later, we still saw nest after nest appear, and that turned out to be the case for the rest of our four-hour flight, I knew we were into something extraordinary. It just didn’t stop. They were all over the place,” Purser said.

It is the largest fish farming colony ever discovered. Thanks to the camera, they were able to estimate that there are about 60 million nests. It is not clear (yet) why the fish gather there en masse. The discovery was made last February, but the results were recently published in the scientific journal current biology.

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