This glass sponge was one of 76 sponge species found during expeditions in the seas off Antarctica between 2002 and 2005. Seventeen species of sponges had never been found before and 37 were not known to live in those waters.
The richness of the deep-sea fauna found during the trips challenged a belief that the ocean depths do not nurture a diversity of animals.
In other oceans the number of species drops the deeper you go, said study co-author Katrin Linse, a marine biologist at the British Antarctic Survey.
But in the Southern Ocean we found the opposite trend.
The Southern Ocean includes the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans surrounding Antarctica.