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Life Under the Ice, a Microscopic Tour of Antarctica

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 30, 2020

Ariel Waldman and her microscopes spent five weeks in Antarctica investigating the microbes that live in the seas, lakes, and glaciers. One of the outcomes of the trip is Life Under the Ice, a website that showcases some of the tiny critters, plants, and miscellaneous things she found.

Typically when we think about Antarctica, we think of a place that’s barren and lifeless… except for a few penguins. But Antarctica should instead be known as a polar oasis of life, host to countless creatures that are utterly fascinating. They’ve just been invisible to us — until now. Life Under the Ice enables anyone to delve into the microscopic world of Antarctica as an explorer; as if you had been shrunk down and were wading through one large petri dish of curiosities.

Ahhh, look at this tardigrade at 20X magnification:

The tardigrade was found while extremophile hunting on a glacier.