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Researchers find surprisingly rich biodiversity in Antarctic's Weddell Sea

On March 9, a search expedition made a notable discovery: the 144-foot (44-meter) wooden ship known as the Endurance, that once carried explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew to Antarctica, had been found 3,000 m (10,000 ft) deep in the Weddell Sea, 106 years after it sank in ice-crushing conditions. About 320 kilometers (200 miles) away, a different kind of search expedition was taking place in the Weddell Sea. A research team led by Greenpeace was documenting vulnerable marine ecosystems in this part of the Southern Ocean, capturing images of corals, sponges and other organisms that had never been seen before.

John Hocevar, the ocean campaign director for Greenpeace, who piloted the two-person submarines used in the expedition, said they had been able to explore further south than they expected due to the dramatic decrease in sea ice.

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