This is Jules Verne stuff right here--apparently, French, Japanese and Australian scientists have found all manner of bizarre life forms in the waters off of the Antarctican continent. It's easily the least explored part of our planet, save for the Mariana Trench in the Pacific. From the article: "Some of the animals far under the sea grow to unusually large sizes, a phenomenon called gigantism that scientists still do not fully understand.



"Gigantism is very common in Antarctic waters," Martin Riddle, the Australian Antarctic Division scientist who led the expedition, said in a statement. "We have collected huge worms, giant crustaceans and sea spiders the size of dinner plates."



The specimens were being sent to universities and museums around the world for identification, tissue sampling and DNA studies.



"Not all of the creatures that we found could be identified and it is very likely that some new species will be recorded as a result of these voyages," said Graham Hosie, head of the census project."



OK, so a dinner-plate-sized underwater spider isn't fully 20,000-Leagues-Under-the-Sea-esque, but for the real world, it's still pretty damn cool. Scientists say they're excited about planning another expedition in 10-15 years.



Gee, aim high, guys!



What's with the delay? Why not sooner? I bet if the US government wasn't spending so much money on wars, we could learn a lot about the underwater life around Antarctica with the same amount of scratch. Of course, it's much more fun to kill than it is to learn.



Wait a minute--no it's not! Learning kicks ass! I'd do it all day long if I didn't have to pay my bills!
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