Kiwi 'underwater drone' invention captures rare Antarctic sea dwellers

Incredible new footage has emerged from a New Zealand-made underwater drone operating in the frigid waters of Antarctica near Scott Base.

The 'Boxfish' is a Kiwi invention, a pioneering underwater drone piloted by a Kiwi engineer that aims to capture rare glimpses of strange and beautiful creatures under the ice.

"When the penguins all started diving around us, that was really mind-blowing - I was hidden under my little tent and yelling a lot," says Ben King, the co-owner of Boxfish Research.

Mr King spent five weeks in Antarctica deploying the 'Boxfish', his invention capturing sea life such as the comb jelly, crocodile ice fish and giant sea spiders.

It's a game-changer for biologists like Regina Eisert.

"It's just that really stunning difference between a barren surface, which is almost devoid of life as we know, and the incredible diversity and the incredible richness of life below it."

"No one's ever dived on the sea floor to that depth outside Scott Base. Divers are generally limited to about 30 metres," Mr King says.

The cutting-edge technology is opening up another world for scientists exploring the ancient and remote landscape underneath Antarctica.