In Onward: Searching for Life in Iceland’s Frigid Fissures, National Geographic grantee and biology researcher Jónína Ólafsdóttir goes diving in search of tiny arthropods in the underwater volcanic fissures of Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park. She is joined by NatGeo multimedia journalists Spencer Millsap and Dan Stone.
“When I started doing this research, I was amazed that no one had ever done it before,” she said one morning earlier this week as we drove to her favorite dive site. Iceland has a lot of research questions related to biology and geology that have never been answered, let alone even asked. “Iceland is a really great place for a scientist with an explorer’s heart,” she says…
Ecologists are often asked why they might study one particular animal, especially a small one that has little impact on humans. Jónína’s answer goes like this: humanity might never be dependent on microscopic arthropods but understanding how animals work together, how they depend on each other holds lots more clues about an area’s environmental history—and its future. At the top of the world, seeing how species change and adapt may indicate what happens as the climate changes around the world.
Read more about Ólafsdóttir's research at National Geographic, and check out more scuba diving videos in the archives.
In this video from the Monterey Bay Aquarium team, learn about how the intelligent Giant Pacific Octopus grabs, climbs, embraces, explores, tastes, recognizes, and more with its eight arms and around 2,000 suckers.
And if you’re near California’s Monterey Bay in the spring of 2014, be sure to visit the aquarium’s upcoming special exhibition, Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes.
In the archives: this, only smaller, at the National Aquarium, and more amazing cephalopods, including this baby, this baby, and this internet legend.