If I were to ask you where on this planet would you not expect to find life, you’d probably come up with the places with the most extreme weather. Perhaps, you’d say the top of Mount Everest or the Sahara Desert. Or maybe you’d say the North and South poles. And while popular belief would tell you that you’re correct, life somehow finds a way to survive on the planet’s most barren wastelands. And the ocean depths around Antarctica are not the exception. Although these waters are frigid, a submarine recently descended into these waters to discover the truth about what was living there. And the result is stunning.
The Greenpeace ship named Arctic Sunrise was sent on a three-month expedition into the waters around the southernmost continent of Antarctica. And when the camera footage was finally processed, they found that the ocean floor was “carpeted with life.”
In the footage below, it reveals that the ocean depths are the homes of numerous species of sponges, corals and other beautiful forms of sea life that are calling this “impossible” habitat home.
But this beauty could be fleeting. Deep sea fishing has the potential to erase this beauty from the planet forever. Because the industry aims to trawl the ocean depths for profitable fish and seafood, it could easily destroy the habitat that has only recently been discovered.
As a result, Greenpeace is pushing for world powers to create a 700,000 square mile sanctuary to be set up in the waters around Antarctica.
Greenpeace is based in Amsterdam. The sanctuary they are asking to be created would not only protect these beautiful ocean-dwelling creatures. It would help protect the whales and penguins who also call the area home.
The European Union has submitted the proposal for this wildlife sanctuary. The German government has backed the critical plan to help preserve the gorgeous wildlife that has found a way to live in the frigid temperatures of Antarctica.
The proposal will go before the Antarctic Ocean Commission in October 2018. And hopefully, it will be accepted and put into practice to keep these beautiful creatures safe for future generations. There is so much we could learn from these animals that have found a way to survive and thrive despite the inhabitable habitat.
This proposed sanctuary would be groundbreaking because it would be the largest on the planet. And based on the results of this video, protecting these creatures seems like a priority.
John Hocevar, a Greenpeace US marine biologist who piloted the submarine, said the first dive was “amazing,” according to Daily Mail.
“I really didn’t know what to expect, but we saw so much life, it was very diverse. There were a lot of species of sponges, corals, sea squirts, a lot of different kinds of sea stars and their relatives, basket stars, feather stars. It was just incredible how the whole bottom was carpeted with life. I really didn’t expect it.”
Check out the spectacular footage below? Do you think these wildlife needs to be protected with a sanctuary?