Unidentified Creature Found on Iceland’s Ocean Floor

unidentified species

Recently taken pictures of Iceland’s sea floor revealed rich and varied wildlife, and even a mystery creature that remains unidentified. The pictures were taken on a research expedition in late June and early July, and show Iceland’s seabed is remarkably full of life. Though extensive research is conducted on fish in Icelandic waters, very little research has been done on the sea floor and its inhabitants, which, the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute asserts, are an important part of the marine food chain.

Wide variety of organisms

Sea cucumbers, starfish, sponges, coral, and bacteria were just some of the organisms found and photographed on the recent expedition. Pictures were taken both within fishing zones and untouched areas at a depth of 100-700m (330-2,300ft). The seabed and its organisms proved diverse. In Jökuldjúp, west of the Reykjanes peninsula, for example, the sea floor was mostly clay and sand and the sea cucumber Laetmogone violacea was widespread. Sponges, on the other hand, made their homes where the seabed was harder.

[/media-credit] A field of sea pens.

Researchers were unsurprised to find healthy coral reefs on steep areas of the continental shelf off the south coast. In areas where fishing is permitted, however, dead coral reefs were present and some coral which had previously existed was now gone.

[media-credit name=”Marine and Freshwater Research Institute.” align=”alignnone” width=”1024″][/media-credit]

Mystery species

The expedition also caught a picture of an animal unfamiliar to researchers, who have yet to identify it. The creature in question is light blue in colour, with a large, square foot and two rows of tendrils. “There are over 3,000 known species of bottom feeders around Iceland but only a fraction of them has been photographed to date,” the Institute revealed in a press release. “Whether this animal belongs to any of these known species or whether it’s a new species in Iceland we do not yet know.”

unidentified species
[/media-credit] An unidentified seabed organism.

By mapping habitats on the seabed, researchers hope to better understand the importance and prevalence of sea floor ecosystems, and thus determine their potential function or use, as well as whether they need to be protected.

Klaustur MPs Breached Parliamentary Ethics, Committee Rules

Klaustur Bar

Two MPs breached parliamentary ethics with their sexist remarks about fellow politicians at Klaustur Bar last November, according to the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, Morgunblaðið reports. The MPs in question, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson and Bergþór Ólason, both of the Centre Party, have contested the ruling. The Parliamentary Speakers’ Committee has made a final ruling on the matter which will be made public later today.

Six MPs took part in the conversation at Klaustur Bar last November, which unbeknownst to them was recorded and later made public. The remarks of the other four MPs, all of the Centre and People’s Party, were not considered a breach of ethics. The conversation included sexist, homophobic, and ableist remarks about other politicians and public figures, and led to public protests and calls for the MPs’ resignation.

Read More: The Klausur Scandal

“As previously stated, conduct that is considered immoral or inappropriate on behalf of the Parliament can devalue the Parliament and damage its image,” reads the Ethics Committee’s ruling in part. “This may include inappropriate behaviour or disrespect toward a gender, race, or religion. The Ethics Committee does not consider it necessary to analyse every single aspect of the comments. They all share the same root. They are indecent and consist of disrespect toward the gender of the women discussed. The Ethics Committee considers them disdainful and damaging to the image of Parliament, in addition to showing a lack of respect for Alþingi, its position, and its work.”

The Parliamentary Speaker’s Committee met today to discuss the matter and has made a final ruling. The ruling will first be sent to the six MPs in question, and be made public later today.

Of Monsters and Men Perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live

Of Monsters and Men


Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week on US TV network ABC. The performance was days after the release of their newest album Fever Dream, which has been widely well received. RÚV reported first.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, the band performed music from Fever Dream as well as older material. In the coming months, they will be touring the United States with the music from their new album, returning to Iceland for the Iceland Airwaves Festival in November.

“I think we’ve never gotten to follow up on an album so well and spend so much time with an album,” said bandmember Ragnar Þórhallsson when asked about Fever Dream. The album was recorded at the band’s Iceland studio, and produced by the band itself alongside Rich Costey, known for his work with Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie, and Muse.