What is life like beneath the polar ice?

Prof. Antje Boetius

We know so little about the deep sea, and even less about what it's like beneath the ice of the Earth's polar regions. How does life flourish in one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet?

Watch preview

Learn about this Garden Talk

1000 species of algae live beneath the polar ice - the lowest link in the food chain of an incredible, thriving marine ecosystem.

It's easy to imagine that no life could flourish in the cold, dark conditions beneath the ice of the Arctic and Antarctic. Marine biologists still only partly understand how the food web under the ice works: given how difficult it is to access the underside of the pack ice, opportunities for observation are few and far between. It’s only been in the last few years that scientists have slowly begun to unlock the secrets of this fascinating environment, thanks to the arrival of underwater robots and nets specially designed for use under the ice. 

Prof. Antje Boetius, one of the foremost experts in polar and marine science in the world, joins us in The Garden to shine a light on one of the most undiscovered regions on the planet and answer your questions.

Read this talk's transcript

Talk outline


50 minutes


Amazing Oceans

About the Fellow

Prof. Antje Boetius

Prof. Antje Boetius is the Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, where she explores previously undiscovered habitats in the deep sea, in particular deep-sea ecosystems below the ice.

Thank you notes from Garden members

Amazing Oceans Collection

Covering almost three-quarters of the Earth, our amazing oceans are vast, beautiful, scary and relatively unexplored. This collection brings to the surface fascinating insights and stories across ocean science, conservation and culture.

Online live interactive talks with experts

Come learn from the best in their fields, and ask them your questions

Find an upcoming live talk

High-quality recorded talks on-demand

Watch recordings of 100+ past talks at your own pace

Browse on-demand talks

The Garden is a community for the curious, a place where inquisitive minds can come together to learn from world experts, and each other, and join in conversations about topics that spark their curiosity.

Find out more

With our monthly membership we aim to give anyone, anywhere, access to the knowledge, ideas and people who have shaped — and continue to shape — our understanding of the world.

Start free trial