A North Pole Update
For those interested in the mysterious material found at the pole, we had it analysed at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology at the Russian Academy of Sciences and it was determined to be mostly Melosira arctica, a diatom that is the most productive alga in the world! This was the Alfred Wegener Institute's Alga of the Year in 2016:
While it is extremely common in the Arctic, there was a reason this was a new sighting to everyone on board the ship. This alga has never been seen on the ice surface before and never in fresh water. Water samples taken from ponds indicate that it was indeed living in fresh water ponds as well as on the dry surface. If there are further developments we will continue to update the blog.