March 16th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

NASA discovers life hidden 600 feet below Antarctic ice

A three-inch long Lyssianasid amphipod (seen in orange) was found on the underside of the McMurdo ice shelf in Antarctica.

Six hundred feet below the Antarctic ice, where no light can be found, NASA scientists made a startling discovery – a swimming shrimp-like creature that could challenge the idea of where and how forms of life can survive.

While the creature is small itself -– only about three inches long -– its impact could be tremendous.

A NASA team had lowered a small video camera to get the first-ever photograph of the underside of an ice shelf – and that’s when they saw the swimming creature, according to a NASA document.

The discovery could shake the very foundation of what kind of creatures can survive in certain atmospheres.

"We were operating on the presumption that nothing's there," NASA ice scientist Robert Bindschadler told the Associated Press. "It was a shrimp you'd enjoy having on your plate."

"We were just gaga over it," he told the AP.

The creature, a Lyssianasid amphipod, could lead the way for larger expeditions into harsher environments that scientists previously believed could not support life – both on the Earth and even frozen moons in outer space.

soundoff (608 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Can I get it at Red Lobster?

    March 16, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike Wilkins

    I always thought NASA was just about Space, now at least I know where my tax payer dollars are going to find a new shrimp cocktail , dont worry about AIDS cures or feeding the third world this is far more important.

    March 16, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Independent

    OK, So whats the National Aeronautics and Space Administration doing under the ice
    in Antarctica ?? Could it have anything to do with Washington's fraudulent global
    warming agenda ?

    March 16, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. tom

    OMG!! It took a while to accept my ancesters were apes....but shrimps!!!!

    March 16, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Flamingo Reaper

    WOW! What's this? LET'S KILL IT!!

    March 16, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. dan

    The article clearly states the creature was swiming. If is trapped or frozen it could not swim.

    March 16, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nighthaawk

    Brad... I say we go to Europa too! Let's spend some Obama money on Space .. and discover life on other worlds. Maybe we as a species won't be as self-absorbed.

    March 16, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. InTheLandOfTheBlindTheOneEyedManIsKing

    NASA gets billions to spend every year and the best photo available is a fuzzy image that looks like a ketchup stain.

    March 16, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. stoptheinvasion

    NASA is looking under ice shelves... Are they not suppose to be looking in space for the big invasion? They know something and not telling us.... Shrimp invasion? I hate it when shrimp invade. I guess space got boring.

    March 16, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. bmsvds

    testament to the close-mindedness of science & how scientific theory can be very wrong.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TEC

    Was it alive? Maybe it got caught in the ice.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Doug

    So was it Orange already or did they color it in the photo to make it more visible. I've been in a lot of caves and all the life forms down there are either white or somewhat transparent. If this thing is living there then what does it eat? Wouldn't that mean there is some other life form there that it's eating?

    March 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cityguy1

    If I am ever trapped under miles of Antarctic ice, its good to know that I wont starve...

    March 16, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anoni

    The Antartic is important because it offers environmental extremes that are worth studying.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ray

    Would be interesting to know what the purpose of wanting to know what the underside of an ice shelf looks like and how many millions was spent on this project. Ice is Ice no matter which way you look at it. Then again, this is just one opinion.

    March 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
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