Tendrils of ice-covered brine, or brinicles, leak from sea ice near East Antarctica’s Dumont d’Urville Station.
Antarctic marine life has been largely isolated from the rest of the planet for tens of millions of years, ever since the continent separated from the other continents and froze over.
Since then the powerful Antarctic Circumpolar Current has swirled from west to east around Antarctica, creating a sharp temperature gradient that inhibits the spread of marine animals.
The long isolation has allowed a tremendous diversity of species, unique to the region, to evolve on the seafloor.
The waters under Antarctic ice are like Mount Everest: magical, but so hostile that you have to be sure of your desire before you go.
The demands are too great, but that’s what makes the images you see here unprecedented, and the experience of having taken them and of having seen this place so unforgettable.