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Underwater photographer and biologist Laurent Ballesta spent two years planning his expedition to Antarctica. He carried out 32 dives at temperatures of around minus 1.7 degrees Celsius – including the deepest and longest dive ever carried out in Antarctica.
Diving under ice is “like diving in a cave, only with a much greater chance of getting lost.” But his work was worth it, Ballesta took a spectacular picture: it is the only sea anemone Edwardsiella andrillae that lives in Antarctica.
Hanging on the underside of an Antarctic ice floe, it floats in the current. The photographer won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for the shot.
Unlike other sea anemones that live on the seabed, Edwardsiella andrillae lives in the ice. However, how it penetrates the ice floe with its soft body or survives there is still a mystery to researchers.
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