Rack, who is U.S. principal investigator for the environmental surveys that were conducted as part of the international ANDRILL Coulman High project, had left the site just prior to the discovery. He was listening by radio when he heard the report from the robot deployment team — engineers Bob Zook, Paul Mahecek and Dustin Carroll — who began shouting as they saw the anemones, which appeared to glow in the camera’s light. “They had found a whole new ecosystem that no one had ever seen before,” Rack said. “What started out as a engineering test of the remotely operated vehicle during its first deployment through a thick ice shelf turned into a significant and exciting biological discovery.” In addition to the anemones, the scientists saw fish that routinely swam upside down, the ice shelf serving as the floor of their undersea world. They also saw polychaete worms, amphipods and a creature they dubbed “the eggroll,” a 4-inch-long, 1-inch-diameter, neutrally buoyant cylinder that seemed to swim using appendages at both ends of its body. It was observed bumping along the field of sea anemones under the ice and hanging on to them at times.
I know a guy who found a new species. This has some roots in Lincoln because of UNL working with ANDRILL. My buddy Bob was living in Lincoln this past summer working on the SCINI remote operated subs that go under the ice in Antarctica since the UNL team was working on the hot water drill.
It just so happened that my other Antarctica buddy Nick had worked with Bob and they met up here in Lincoln. Nick brought Bob over to the BorKade and we hit it off great. Bob is just a darn cool guy. Heck even his voice grabs your attention. He had fun playing the machines and was very interested in my rockets. He even came out to a THOR launch with me and he had a blast interacting with the other folks with much more complicated rockets filled with gadgets. It was just a great day and I had so many questions about the project he works on. They drill a hole through the ice of Antarctica and then send a remote controlled submarine down the hole. That is why it is shaped like a long tube.
Congrats on your discovery Bob 🙂