Monday, December 17, 2007

Under the sea

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?
('Under the Sea' from the Little Mermaid)

First up, I want to thank Bruce Miller for posting all of his underwater photos. Every photo in today's blog is compliments of him. It's a treat to see photos of a place that so few of us ever get to go. I bet more people have been to the South Pole (about 7,000 I think) than have ever been diving under the sea ice in Antarctica. I tried to limit the number of photos, but there were so many great ones I kept more than I deleted.

These creatures live under the sea ice year round. They don't migrate for the winter. I have no idea how much light can penetrate eight feet of snow covered sea ice, but I can't imagine it is too much. Yet, so much still thrives. I've heard that once the ice starts to melt the plant life begins to bloom and visibility drops from 500 ft (?) down to 10 ft so winter is actually the best time to explore the sea floor.

I, unfortunately, don't know what most of these creatures are so I am mostly just posting pictures. Enjoy!!


Octopus. I'm not sure if the other two legs are underneath it or not.

Weddell seal coming down from a hole in the sea ice.

Lots of life here. There must be a source of nutrients under that pile.

Two starfish doing the Unstuck.

Underwater pill bug?

Big Brother seal is watching you.

Sea fairy?

The end of a riveting game of hide and go seek.

0xygen meter and underwater note taking

It was THIS big!

This is how you make fish lips.


  1. Pictures are very interesting. Some of the sea life looks like what can be found in the Atlantic. That one,which I guess is a crab, looks like a giant spidar. Ugh!!

  2. its surprising how colorful things are even with the lack of light. How cool! So when do you get to go down there too? ;)

  3. I plan on doing a polar plunge before I leave. Maybe I'll just dive down a little farther before I come back up :-)

    Diving below the sea ice is really dangerous. They don't use tethers due to the restrictions it causes so they have to keep track of the hole them through even when they lose site of it.

    When the sea ice melts, it is just like normal diving, but really cold.

  4. Do you already have to be scuba certified to dive there or do they offer classes for that, too? :)