It is now all over, and we are all more or less back in normal routines. After some very hectic weeks in Ny-Ålesund, with more that 70 scientists, students and media representatives, it feels good to sit back and look through all the data, pictures and experiences we had. All in all, the campaign was fantastic; the course went really well and all students are currently in their final week preparing the science report and preparing for the exam, the scientists have left the island with their bags and computers filled with data and the media people have (hopefully) been inspired to write many stories from the “dark deeds” that we did during the campaign. I can only say that I am very much looking forward to see everything that is to come out of the campaigns we had through the two NFR projects Circa and Marine Night during the last two winters. But I also want to highlight a sensational discovery made by one of our polish partners – Piotr Balazy who joined us as part of the polish Marine Night project (http://iopan.gda.pl/projects/MarineNight/popularyzacja.html). Piotr’s camera have, as far as I can understand, for the first time in history actually captured a real mermaid! While occupied with taking pictures of the biggest lions mane (Cyanea capilata) we have ever seen on Svalbard before – 1m across – a mermaid was obviously watching as well, hidden in the dark. On the picture, you see only her breast, sticking out of the shadow. The rest of her is hidden in darkness. I guess she was also very surprised about the strength of the flash light on Piotr’s camera?
Time to go home now…more next winter!
Professor Jørgen Berge
chief scientist and Dark Lord