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*****NEWS ALERT***** UCC Marine Geosciences Research Group saves Xmas!

16 Dec 2022
410 kHz side-scan sonar image showing Target X14, 1547m water depth, eastern flank of the Lomonosov Ridge, near North Pole. Target subsequently verified as a hypersonic, aerial and surface snow delivery vehicle propelled by magical reindeer (reindeer not imaged)

Merry Xmas everybody

Well that was a close one!  Thanks to the UCC Marine Geosciences Research Group speedy action and technological expertise, millions of children will get their presents this year and the craic team averted a major catastrophe and saved Xmas. 

Every year, Santa takes his reindeer out for some pre-flight flights to warm up the sleigh and shake down the reindeer. This year, near the North Pole disaster struck as a freak storm (you know that pesky climate warming thing) suddenly froze all the reindeer’s hooves and Rudolph’s nose went out!  Not surprisingly, Santa, the reindeer and his sleigh plummeted to the ground, crashing through the sea ice and sank to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Of course, Santa and the reindeer miraculously survived and clambered out of the perishingly cold water, they are magic after all. Tragically, though, the sleigh was lost! No sleigh, no presents popping down your proverbial chimney.  

When Santa gave us a call, we couldn’t say no. In double quick time the UCC Marine Geosciences Research Group mobilised the vessel and shot off to the frozen wastes. A little bit of ice breaking later we arrived to find a very grumpy Santa (no Yo-Ho-Ho this time!).  Don’t worry Santa, UCC Marine Geosciences Research Group will get your sleigh back!  After a few tense hours of side-scan sonar box searching we identified some targets with one looking distinctly sleigh shaped at 1547 m water depth on the edge of the Lomonosov Ridge (see image above). A now much merrier Santa “yo-ho-hoed up” an elf-sized submersible and the next thing we knew the sleigh was back on the ice - heavily colonised by a new species of Arctic hydroid (brilliant – so we’ll be publishing that although I’m not sure the peer-reviewers will believe us!). 

So… can the UCC Marine Geosciences Research Group wish you all a very merry Xmas in this time of unforeseen surprises, we’re always happy to help out during global crises and we hope your children appreciate their presents and all that went into making Xmas this year a success! 


From Andy, Ger, John, Larissa, Felix, Alicia, Audrey and Riccardo

Marine Geosciences Research Group

University College Cork

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, North Mall Campus, University College Cork, North Mall, Cork City, T23 TK30