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Bizarre sea creatures the likes of which have never been seen before have been discovered below the ice in Antarctica, a documentary has revealed.
Expedition Antarctica is an on-going mission has seen an international team useing state-of-the-art technology to scan the seabed.
The Secrets of Antarctica documentary has been shared on YouTube to document their journey.
In the video Dr Dave Bowden reveals the team were left stunned after finding a series of weird creatures that grow much bigger than any other creatures like them and have strange characteristics.
Among the weird finds were sea lilies called crinoids – which are closely related to sea urchins – and had only been seen before in fossil records.
The scientist also told how he found a sea spider which grows very large legs and has a tiny body.
Among the boffins other bizarre finds are sponges, which have have no nervous or digestive systems, and feed by filtering water through their pores.
He said: “The reason is the Antarctic continental shelf has been isolated from the rest of the planet for many, many years.
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“This is a sea spider, which is one of the groups which is intriguing in the Antarctica group system because they’re much more diverse than the rest of the world, they grow very large.
“There is a tendency in some groups to lean towards gigantism, it’s basically all legs, there’s essentially no body, it’s unlike anything we know about.”
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He added: “Here’s an example of another magnificent beast, it’s a polychaete worm, you’ll find them under a rock, but this is much, much larger [than normal].
“There’s debate over whether the Antarctic is the reason why these things are larger, or if there are just lineages of this animal that have evolved in the Antarctic and don’t exist anywhere else.
“But one of my most fascinating finds from the voyage was on a seamount north of the Ross Sea, where we found an extraordinary assembly of sea lilies – crinoids – which are closely related to sea urchins.
“The main difference is that it’s anchored in one position.
“The only place we’ve actually seen these before is in the fossil records, we’ve never seen anything like this before alive on the seabed.”
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