Why Don’t Fish Freeze in Antarctica? I Antarctic Extremes

Under the ice in Antarctica is a world few people ever get to see.
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Bizarre creatures-ancient sponges, gigantic jellyfish, sea spiders, ribbon worms, and notothenioid fishes that manage not to freeze-make their home here. “Every time I come down here, every year, I always find something I haven’t seen before,” diver Steve Rupp says.
To discover Antarctica’s dazzling hidden underbelly, host Arlo Pérez meets with Steve and his fellow Antarctic diver Rob Robbins, while host Caitlin Saks explores the McMurdo Aquarium with evolutionary physiologist Chi-Hing Christina Cheng. Arlo and Caitlin learn that the Antarctic marine realm is not only spectacular to see, but fascinating for scientists to study. The water is so cold that fish inhabiting it should freeze like an icicle, a phenomenon that evolutionary biologist Paul Cziko uses supercooled water, snow, and fish guts to demonstrate.
So how do Antarctica’s fish, which penguins and seals rely on for food, survive in waters below their freezing point? To find out, Caitlin and Arlo go ice fishing with a local legend, biologist Art DeVries, who has been studying fish physiology in Antarctica since 1961. The secret is an evolutionary marvel that has major implications...for ICE CREAM.
For more cool underwater footage, check out the channel for the McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory (MOO): hrgreen.info/port/CvuxF3iI3R47VmriWKn60Qfeatured
Or, visit the MOO's website for LIVE (seasonal) underwater footage: moo-antarctica.net/live
Hosted by Caitlin Saks and Arlo Pérez
Editor/Digital Associate Producer: Arlo Pérez
Producer: Caitlin Saks
Field Director/Cinematographer: Zachary Fink
Executive Producer: Julia Cort
Coordinating Producer: Elizabeth Benjes
Project Director: Pamela Rosenstein
Production Assistance: Matthew Buckley, Emily Pattison, Sean Cuddihy
Audio Mix: Heart Punch Studio
Director of Audience Development: Dante Graves
Senior Digital Producer: Ari Daniel
Audience Engagement Editor: Sukee Bennett
Outreach Manager: Gina Varamo
Special thanks to the United States Antarctic Program
Emily Stone, Getty Images, McMurdo Oceanographic Observatory, Paul Czkio, Paul Dayton / NSF, PH1 R.W. Milton / NSF, Rob Robbins, Shutterstock, Steven Rupp, Storyblocks
Music: APM
National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust.
Major funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, the George D. Smith Fund, and the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1713552. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2020


  1. Dorian Smith

    Dorian Smith

    Prije 2 dana

    Fish got ice in the veins

  2. Allo


    Prije 5 dana

    6:27 When paul takes a tissue sample. Paul proceeds to remove the fish lungs.

  3. Demarcus Q

    Demarcus Q

    Prije 10 dana

    2:18 okay so we’re just gonna pass up the flying fairy looking things right there?! I hope that’s fake

  4. Luigi Di San Pietro

    Luigi Di San Pietro

    Prije 12 dana

    11:46 Exists.... Me: *Is it just me, or do they look cute?*

  5. ღSwnsasyღ _

    ღSwnsasyღ _

    Prije 13 dana

    Just.. So.. Absolutely stunning.. One of the greatest jobs on earth that I would love to have..

  6. Elusive Handle

    Elusive Handle

    Prije 27 dana

    0:57 - I'm a little disappointed it wasn't Rob Robbins and Steve Stevens.

  7. Akash Chandrashekhar Dhotre

    Akash Chandrashekhar Dhotre

    Prije mjesec

    Uh, "the fish has ice in it's body, that's why the water froze?" The bottle of water below its freezing point would freeze instantly if you were to tap it or drop a stone.

  8. Lichen Porifera

    Lichen Porifera

    Prije mjesec

    Is it possible to use ice crystals to lower the temperature in the oceans? Use a very cold ice crystal and let it grow beneath or above the waters.

  9. Deva Adnan

    Deva Adnan

    Prije mjesec

    Maybe live in Titan also like tgis

  10. Deva Adnan

    Deva Adnan

    Prije mjesec

    Maybe Titan also like this

  11. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore

    Prije mjesec

    You know that thing Adam Devine does “small face” holy shit, this vice dude has it for real! Still tho he looks super trustworthy and I have no idea why. I’d trust him with my wallet based purely off his look and that’s weirding me out right now.

  12. La Tre Clays

    La Tre Clays

    Prije mjesec

    2:18 those squid/jellyfish little things are sooooo cute

  13. Joseph Bradshaw

    Joseph Bradshaw

    Prije 2 mjeseci

    I know about the antifreeze..don't tell me

  14. astroloudboy


    Prije 2 mjeseci

    9:50 We all know what song start playing in our head when she said "stay alive" 😀

  15. Autencio Phiel

    Autencio Phiel

    Prije 2 mjeseci


  16. Dopamine Dreams

    Dopamine Dreams

    Prije 2 mjeseci

    I love how the comments are more concerned with the mystery of why Art was so handsome, than why the fish dont freeze lmaooo

  17. Marcus Chan

    Marcus Chan

    Prije 2 mjeseci

    Wow... Young Art in the 60s omg.

  18. Bobby Cratchet

    Bobby Cratchet

    Prije 2 mjeseci

    C'mon mom, science is boring and I'll be stuck in a lab all day. Who cares about my perfect grades in biology. Mom: Watch this video. Daughter: 2:36 Oh...

  19. avarice seven

    avarice seven

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    Am I the only one interested in those fish parasites mentioned? I thought they'd have none cause the place is so cold and that they just look unappetizing but now I want a follow up to this.

  20. Celia Annetta

    Celia Annetta

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    “Just wants to hang” 😭😂 most fitted description for me

  21. Jeremy Grillo

    Jeremy Grillo

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    Why do we need an angle to study this stuff?

  22. Adi Saha

    Adi Saha

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    i am so fascinated by Antarctica

  23. Michael


    Prije 3 mjeseci

    Why does Rob look like Bryan Cranston tho 😱

  24. C C

    C C

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    This can prove to be some very valuable research for helping shoving humans into cryo without ice crystal formations obliterating our organs.

  25. Blythe Saunders

    Blythe Saunders

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    Nobody sent me.

  26. Blythe Saunders

    Blythe Saunders

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    Nobody sent me.

  27. Blythe Saunders

    Blythe Saunders

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    Nobody sent me.

  28. Blythe Saunders

    Blythe Saunders

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    Nobody sent me.

  29. Alyster Davidson

    Alyster Davidson

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    And humans reach Antarctica too to destroy.

  30. Microbio S

    Microbio S

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    I was going to watch this until I heard that it's that obnoxious, hipster "journalist" with the hideous way of narrating.

  31. RoseisoutofherTOGA


    Prije 3 mjeseci

    “I started in 1961” *cuts to photo* Me: “...Thor?”

  32. AA Aiming

    AA Aiming

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    That jelly fish makes me nervous

  33. Dnyaneshwar K

    Dnyaneshwar K

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    You killed that fish to prove the point...Boooo

  34. vishwank v rai

    vishwank v rai

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    What if we have those anti freeze Protein

  35. Inderjeet Singh

    Inderjeet Singh

    Prije 3 mjeseci

    When you eat anti freeze fish protein, you become anti freeze?

  36. Beth Collin

    Beth Collin

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Does it definitely need to touch ice to grow or could a supercooled substance touch anything to grow? I only ask because I stumbled upon supercooling accidentally after freezing a bottle of water in a hot country. It didn't freeze but as soon as it was poured into a glass it did.

  37. WJ isme

    WJ isme

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    They don't freeze cause of antifreeze like ammonia in their bodies

  38. Makis Makiavelis

    Makis Makiavelis

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    I am confused. That test with the fish tissue as a nucleation point in the supercooled water proves nothing, because when regular water is at that critical temperature will start freezing even if you lightly shake the container. The nucleation points are already in the water in the form of impurities so crystals are able to grow even if you don't introduce anything in the water. Am I right or wrong?

  39. rj


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    I think what she wanted to ask was "can we inject the antifreeze protein and become superhuman"

  40. Ayat Zahid

    Ayat Zahid

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Sub zero feeling proud at this moment

  41. Daniel B

    Daniel B

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    That is crazy. Dudes have a warehouse full of balls.

  42. Sage


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Put a totally new meaning to "having ice in your veins"

  43. Gayle Cheung

    Gayle Cheung

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Hero’s, Doing awesome work for mankind

  44. Dan Severns

    Dan Severns

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    The Cold Pressor Test (hand in ice water) is standard way to measure pain tolerance.

  45. pls dont

    pls dont

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Last name "Saks", likes to "touch things". Coincidence? I think not.

  46. Harry Newton

    Harry Newton

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Kind of skipped over any important applications in favour of a joke about ice cream... How about the proteins use as a cryoprotectant for preserving organs or storing biological samples.

  47. Putrid Abomination

    Putrid Abomination

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Nobody cares who sent you

  48. sabrina bee

    sabrina bee

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Killing a poor little fish for a demo on a HRgreen channel is cruel and unnecessary. Humans fucking suck.

  49. K H

    K H

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    I thought nucleation of ice is achievable with things other than ice itself. I've heard dust can trigger it in water that's cold enough

  50. Common Sense

    Common Sense

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    These fish maybe use the protein in deep space travel not protect the body from ice.

  51. armyforlife3 Nao

    armyforlife3 Nao

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Paul is cute

  52. JOSH


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Fun fact this same protein was injected and spliced with strawberries allowing us to grow them year round in sub zero temperatures

  53. Cabbage


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Why is Buffalo Bill explaining why fish don't freeze to me?

  54. Nivid Mandava

    Nivid Mandava

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    "I didn't get it" *while nodding furiously*

  55. Rachelle Dela Rosa

    Rachelle Dela Rosa

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Why am I watching this instead of doing hw? 😂

  56. Mittens


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    I know I should be focusing on the science and stuff, but she’s just so cute. She’s like a young attractive female Bill Nye.

  57. star_scream music chaneel

    star_scream music chaneel

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    God made them that way the didn't evolve

  58. star_scream music chaneel

    star_scream music chaneel

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    God made them that way the didn't evolve

  59. star_scream music chaneel

    star_scream music chaneel

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    سبحان الله لسا بتحصل كم بهيمه بتنكر وجود الله

  60. Griswold27


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    2:38 sure talk about how beautiful it is while conveniently ignoring one of the most terrifying ocean spiders I've ever seen

  61. gautham vijayan

    gautham vijayan

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    So how does the worms and jellyfish not freeze? They all have the same protein?

  62. Cynthia HanYiXin

    Cynthia HanYiXin

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Why don’t fish freeze in Antartica? Me ironically: lol they have antifreeze LOL Watches video: oh so I was right?

  63. Aldo Vazquez

    Aldo Vazquez

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    What happens if a human eats that fish can he swim longer in cold water?

  64. randomnostalgia


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    art was hot back then fuck

  65. JG the FREEMIND


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    I'm drunk watching this & don understand a thing being said although idk if I would even if I weren't drunk lol

  66. Rahye t

    Rahye t

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    TIL: There are jellyfish in antarctica

  67. Michael Tran

    Michael Tran

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    They’re totally gonna bone, check out that chemistry. ⚗️🌡🧪

  68. 0mNam


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Am I the only one whose tired of people calling creatures that actually live on earth "alien"?

  69. Elena


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    they're not freezing because the water isn't freezing. NEXT

  70. [error]


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    This kinda content is the only reason o still wake up during quarantine

  71. JackyVivid


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    That hole is located in the sea of Heck No. Nope! i will never go in it.

  72. 404th Admin

    404th Admin

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    why cant they freeze ? its cause these fishes are pretty cool

  73. TWSTF 8

    TWSTF 8

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Paul looks like Michael Fassbender, or a distant long-lost Norwegian albino twin lol the resemblance is striking.

  74. Clark Adams

    Clark Adams

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Are these also known as thermocoupling proteins?

  75. Dragrath1


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Poor little fish... people don't treat fish with respect... cutting that cute little fish just for a demonstration. :(

  76. Blue Skies

    Blue Skies

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Just because a specimen makes a tube of water turn to ice, does not NECESSARILY mean Ice IS present, lol, conjecture...I would look to frequency or vibration of cellular tissue... If you shake a child bottle of water it will turn solid ice, lol.

  77. Andrew Mayo

    Andrew Mayo

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    6:43 the argument that this means ice in the fish feels wrong, you only need a nucleation site for ice crystals to start forming in the water, you can just as easily smack the water bottle to make ice form, its the disturbance of the fluid that creates ice

  78. Miguel Torres

    Miguel Torres

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Omg art you g was hoy

  79. Tracey Fofie

    Tracey Fofie

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Fishes? I thought it was fish 🤔🤔hmmm

  80. Side Attack

    Side Attack

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Can someone make it a sushi?

  81. Jacob Brewer

    Jacob Brewer

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    So to clarify the ice forms when it drops well below the freezing point, or at the freezing point using ice as a catalyst to bind the water?

  82. Megadextrious


    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Those are probably the cutest fish ever

  83. Emperor Cyber

    Emperor Cyber

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Because Gordon Ramsay

  84. matanuska high

    matanuska high

    Prije 4 mjeseci

    Well the water isn’t feeezing. So that’s why they don’t freeze. What a dumb question.....

  85. Alex Krasikow

    Alex Krasikow

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    Where do i sign up?

  86. SiREN


    Prije 5 mjeseci

    it's like a sky with clouds under water but prettier!

  87. Adrian Silesian

    Adrian Silesian

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    Thumb down for not using a standard measure units!!!!

  88. I am on Cloud 9

    I am on Cloud 9

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    He / she has ice in their veins." It makes sense now...

  89. OᄆO


    Prije 5 mjeseci

    Sea creatures below Antarctic ice looks like it could belong in the deepest part of the sea

  90. Lobotzin Diego antes Ness Lopez

    Lobotzin Diego antes Ness Lopez

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    Omg Art was hot! Like hot hot, anyways an application could be use for cryogenesis freezing people without damaging the cells

  91. Ryhthm INC.

    Ryhthm INC.

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    When that fish swam up to the camera i was thinking , Finding Nemo *don't tough the butt*

  92. Happy Thoughts

    Happy Thoughts

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    poor fishies...

  93. R.O.T.C SEEM

    R.O.T.C SEEM

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    The moment my big foot touches that cold water ⚠️Your body ran into a problem and needs to restart ⚠️

  94. Brandon Rios

    Brandon Rios

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    I grab a lobster in touch it to the ice Instant freeze no I don’t have to spend electricity for refrigerator

  95. Neira


    Prije 5 mjeseci

    The way Americans mispronounce Antarctica really annoys me

  96. Gloria Wan

    Gloria Wan

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    Lectores, les deseo una vida pacífica, exitosa y saludable para siempre ❤️❤️❤️ Relajémonos conmigo con nuevas melodías geniales:hrgreen.info/pack/g9pqpZenrN3gkpE/video.html

  97. ya boii

    ya boii

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    Does your car constantly over- heat!? Stuff 1 antifreeze fish in your cars' coolant reservoir and say goodbye to all your problems! Have a nice day!

  98. Cook1e


    Prije 5 mjeseci

    F° I see.

  99. A. A.小丹

    A. A.小丹

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    Read for filth @10:30

  100. J O

    J O

    Prije 5 mjeseci

    10:34 All that science and research, just end up in ice cream, pathetic.