1. A penguin swims past a diver nearby. The brown patches captured in the photo are microalgae which cling to sea ice and photosynthesize in the spring.
2. Divers documented plant and animal life up to 230 feet below the surface for nearly five hours at a time.
3. 16 species were found in Antarctica, one of which is this octopus. They have a specialized pigment in their blood turning it blue to help them survive subfreezing temperatures.
4. A Weddell seal swims beneath the ice. It stays near the coast breathing air through holes in the ice.
5. Diver swims more than 200 feet below the surface. Here, the light is dim and temperatures drop below 29°F.
6. Young Weddell seal sits in an ice gap. Once its fully grown it will be about 10 feet long and weigh half a ton.
7. A variety of marine invertebrates call Antarctica home.
8. A seal swims beneath sea ice near East Antarctica’s Dumont d’Urville Station.
9. The rope helps divers find their way back to the surface.
10. More than 200 feet down, orange sea squirts, which look very much like sponges are tethered to the sea floor. These sea squirts are quite evolved - the larvae have spinal cords.
11. A hundred feet below the ice a feather star waves its arms in order to capture food particles. While it may look like a plant, it is actually an animal and it can swim.
12. An octopus jets above a seabed packed with life.
13. A curious young seal, just a couple of weeks old, comes in for a close-up.
14. Body stowed inside the ice floe, an anemone lets its tentacles dangle in the dark water. Scientists can’t say how it penetrates the ice—or survives there.
15. Ice covered brine or brincles leak from sea ice near East Antarctica’s Dumont d’Urville Station. They are seldom seen and form when trapped, super-cooled brine escapes from the ice and freezes less salty seawater.
16. Pictured here is an isopod which looks like a pill bug, and rolls up when threatened. It is nearly five inches long.
17. A wary icefish takes cover in a kelp grove. They have antifreeze proteins in the blood that helps them withstand temperatures below 29°F.
18. A Weddell seal accompanies her pup on a swim beneath the ice.
19. Emperor penguins in search for food.
20. This sea star nestled up to a worm-ridden treelike sponge is more than a foot across.