- A newly found deep-sea hot springs off Antarctica is host to an array of new species.
- One mystery is how these new creatures reached the vent, which is located amid frigid Antarctic waters.
The discovery of new deep-sea hot springs off Antarctica may rewrite theories of how marine creatures populate the world's oceans.
Scientists say the underwater plumes -- located between the southern tip of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula -- are chock-full of new species, including a pale, ghostly-looking octopus, a predatory seven-legged sea star and a hairy-chested "yeti" crab.
Experts say the strangest thing is what they didn't find -- tube worms, shrimp and mussels that have been found at the world's other deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities.
"It wasn't just one creature, virtually everything we saw was new to science," said Alex Rogers, professor of zoology at the University of Oxford and lead author of the new report.
"It was a remarkable experience. You're not quite sure if these things are mineral or biological structures. That's a very unusual feeling to see all this stuff for the first time and saying I don't understand what's going on here."