A newly discovered anemone found living in the Arctic is shedding some light on a really dark marine environment. During some routine tests of their ROVs, some researchers noticed that while patrolling under the ice, it had a fuzzy appearance.
Upon closer inspection with the ROV, it was noticed that parts of the ice would retreat, and that’s how the really unique Edwardsiella andrillae anemone was found. Known only from the underside of sea ice, Edwardsiella andrillae lives i little burrows that are somehow excavated from the ice. Anemones have no hard parts, so how they burrow into the ice is a mystery.
The ice anemone only grows to an inch long, so with most of its stalk burried in the ice, it’s no wonder these tiny creatures have never been seen before. Not to mention that they live in sub-zero freezing waters. Researchers don’t yet know anything about Edwardsiella andrillae like how it manages to live in this environment. But we’re pretty sure some astro-biologists are already applying for grant monies to learn more about this extremophile. [PLoS ONE via NatGeo]