Many people think that in the north the underwater world is a sad dark and dull place with rare frozen fish. But in fact, even under the ice in subzero temperatures the water is teeming with amazing, beautiful persistent creatures. There are far fewer species than in warm seas, but the number of individuals of each species is much greater. They occupy every square inch of the bottom, under every rock is home to hundreds or thousands of inhabitants. There are no-holds-barred battles and amazing stories going on here.
But in fact, even under the ice in subzero temperatures the water is teeming with amazing, beautiful persistent creatures. There are far fewer species than in warm seas, but the number of individuals of each species is much greater. They occupy every square inch of the bottom, under every rock is home to hundreds or thousands of inhabitants. There are no-holds-barred battles and amazing stories going on here.
First, the White Sea is home to about 70 species of fish, up to the polar shark, octopus and sea stars. On the bottom live tiny crustaceans — sea goats. They climb on pebbles, plants and even fish. Or the holojaber mollusk, it has no shell or mantle, and in the water it looks more like a magic flower. Then there are multi-bristle worms and various jellyfish that look absolutely cosmic.
Alexander is used to working in harsh conditions, diving in the subglacial regions of the northern seas. His specialty is microbiologist and he is passionate about studying invertebrate animals. His hobby is photography, and the combination of these vectors yields amazing photos. He takes the dives himself and positions his creations as scientific photography. These photos are highly appreciated by the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic, TIME Magazine and Wired. Photographing in an icy sea is not easy. Even with good equipment, the pictures are too faded and blurry, and the sense of space is lost. Alexander copes with this problem with photo processing.
His new videos and photos of tiny invertebrates are incredible: the sea angel, a predatory clam that mercilessly eats other clams called «sea devils,» and photos of luminescent jellyfish, equorias, and hairy cyanids that look like an upside-down basket of orange carnations. And small invertebrate worms, polychaetes and other amazing northern animals, can’t list them all, but you can see them in photos and videos in the Aquatilis Project.
The sea angel is perfectly safe for humans, it only amazes with its unearthly beauty. Watching its mesmerizing movements, it is difficult to imagine that this little angel is only a descendant of an ancient evolved snail and its closest relatives are slugs. Adult size up to 4-5 cm, the head is separated from the body, on the head are 4 tentacles, two tentacles with chitinous hooks inside are located near the mouth and two are the eyes. Instead of legs, there are outgrowths that flutter when it moves, creating the impression of an angel soaring. The wings are pentagonal, thin, 250 microns thick, they are a modified snail’s leg, which evolved for the purpose of exploring the ocean. Sea angels are hermaphrodites and reproduce on their own mainly in spring or early summer. They lay their larvae in a cocoon and cover it with mucus.