Scientists were stunned to find a massive phytoplankton bloom underneath sea ice in the Arctic. The discovery is the result of an oceanographic expedition called Impacts of Climate on EcoSystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment (ICESCAPE). Paula Bontempi, NASA's ocean biology and biogeochemistry program manager in Washington, says the finding is "like finding the Amazon rainforest in the middle of the Mojave Desert."
The massive bloom extended over 60 miles and was concentrated near the top layers of water near the surface. Take a look:
This photo shows optical instruments being lowered through a hole at the bottom of a melt pond by ICESCAPE scientists to study the waters underneath the ice. You can see more photographs from the expedition here