The researchers had sunk a borehole, to get a sediment core from the seabed:
While the boulder scuppered their chances of obtaining the core, footage from a video camera sent down the hole captured the first images of organisms stuck to a rock far beneath an ice shelf.
“It’s slightly bonkers,” said Dr Huw Griffiths, a marine biogeographer at the British Antarctic Survey. “Never in a million years would we have thought about looking for this kind of life, because we didn’t think it would be there.” …
Photos and video footage of the boulder show that it is home to at least two types of sponge, one of which has a long stem that opens into a head. But other organisms, which could be tube worms or stalked barnacles, also appear to be growing on the rock. Ian Sample, “Researchers rethink life in a cold climate after Antarctic find” at The Guardian
The paper is open access.