NASA finds shrimp under Antarctic ice

Tuesday, March 16, 2010; C10

Antarctic shrimp: How cool is that?

-- The latest video sensation isn't a teen pop star, but a spunky shrimplike creature found deep below the Antarctic ice. Scientists had assumed such dark, subfreezing water would only be able to support a few simple microbes. But the orange amphipod has completely changed where scientists thought advanced life was possible.

A NASA research team drilled an eight-inch hole and stuck a video camera 600 feet down, hoping to observe the underbelly of the thick ice sheet. To their amazement, a curious critter swam into view and clung to the video camera's cable. When the camera came up, there was also a long tentacle stuck to it, which scientists think came from a jellyfish.

While it's possible the creatures floated in from somewhere else, the NASA team doubts it, because the hole was 12 miles from open water.

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