In a tumbling Jules Verne-esque adventure, a “lost world” of strange creatures, scalding hot temperatures and sheer darkness has been discovered by robotic vehicles deep down at the end of the Earth.
The vehicles were deployed by researchers to explore the East Scotia Ridge, located roughly two-and-a-half kilometres beneath the Southern Ocean, midway between Antarctica and South America.
The ridge is home to hydrothermal vents – deep-sea springs that gush forth temperatures up to 382 degrees Celsius. Although rare, hydrothermal vents were first discovered off the Galapagos Islands in 1977.
According to lead researcher Alex Rogers of Oxford University, the vents host animals found nowhere else on Earth, as they “get their energy not from the sun but from breaking down chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide”.
This unusually hot, dark world has spewed forth previously undiscovered creatures such as the yeti crab, a long albino-like creature with huge nippers that appear to be covered with a mink coat.
The crab also has hair on its abdomen, inspiring the team to name it “The Hoff”, and a DNA structure unlike any known to man.
Other less-studied creatures include a mysterious “ghost-pale” octopus, seven-pronged starfish and stalked barnacles. Fish are reportedly an uncommon occurrence, being found mainly on the periphery of the hot zones.
Of further interest to scientists was that gigantic worms, clams, crabs, mussels and shrimps, creatures typically found near hydrothermal vents, were nowhere to be seen. Their absence has added mystique to an ecosystem unlike any previously known.
While the news has sent shudders of excitement throughout the scientific community, it has also sparked interest in the world’s wealthy entrepreneurs.
Juniper Halwash, multi-billionaire and CEO of the Swiss Culinary Organisation for Fearless Foodies (SCOFF), says he’s now planning to televise an albino seafood cooking show, the first of its kind.
He says while special lava-filled vats may be needed to tenderise and even kill these sallow, scorch-proof swimmers, the strange juices and textures that await could bring pleasures beyond the gourmands’ wildest dreams.
Cecil Bloodstone says
I do not think we should be spending money going to the bottom of the ocean looking for silly species! We should be going to the moon or mars looking for ancient fossils to prove we are not alone in this God fore saken universe! Huge Boo’s to these underwater wastrills, big cheers to NASA space probes.
Yours in disgust, Cecil B
Andy Tope says
There’s not a bone of culinary adventure in your body is there? I bet you live off sausage sizzles and drink Sprite.
Probably the reason behind their ghost-like appearances is that they have adapted in the deepest points under the sea where no ray of sun can reach. But if they taste real good, then let the gastronomic adventure begin!
Andy Tope says
Agreed Rey. I’ll get the stuff if you cook it? Thanks for stopping by.