Believe it or not: Rare ‘see-through’ fish colony found in Antarctica
Amazing discoveries can be made anywhere around the world. Well, it's absolutely true. An icefish colony has been found in Antarctica. It seems to be the world's largest fish breeding ground.
This colony has around 60 million fish in ice-covered Weddell Sea in Antarctica. It is home to the rare icefish, Neopagetopsis ionah. What’s special about this fish is it has a see-through skull and transparent blood. The icefish does not have red blood cells.
As it lives in low temperatures, its body has evolved and come up with an anti-freeze protein in blood, which ensures ice crystals do not grow.
This unique discovery shows a lot is still unknown about the various ecosystems at the ocean depths.
The fascinating find was made by German polar research vessel, Polarstern, in February 2021. The ship was surveying the seabed about half a kilometer below the ship.
This was done with the help of a car-sized camera system, which was attached to the stern of the ship. It transmitted pictures up to the deck as it was being towed.
Autun Purser, postdoctoral reseacher, Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, said, "We just saw fish nest after fish nest for the whole four hours, and during that time, we covered maybe six kilometers (3.7 miles) of the sea floor."
Purser is the lead author of a study on the icefish colony, which has been published in the journal ‘Current Biology’ on Thursday.