Offbeat Video

By Luke Kenton


This diver’s journey beneath the ice-caps of north-eastern Russia revealed a stunning array of species, including a rare sea butterfly elegantly gliding in the darkness below. 

North-eastern Russia is famed for its inhospitably cold conditions, but diver Alexander Benedik was brave enough to submerge himself in the -1C White Sea water in search of life below the ice. 

PIC BY ALEXANDER BENEDIK/CATERS NEWS

Accompanying the stunning ice formations, the veteran diver was greeted by a host of striking sea life, including a rare sea butterfly – a type of arctic nudibranch – fluttering past his camera lens.

Diving for up to 70 minutes at a time, Alexander – who opted not to wear heated equipment in the sub-zero conditions in order to get the ‘perfect shot’ – was left ‘in awe’ of the bustling life around him, on March 2018.

Alexander said: “I chose to dive in this region because of the ice formations you can find there. 

PIC BY ALEXANDER BENEDIK/CATERS NEWS

“I love ice formations, they’re all different and endless in their shapes. 

“It was very challenging to film a 4cm floating creature [sea butterfly] – in the end it was just luck that I managed to get such a perfect shot of it flying along. 

“The sitting jellyfish were incredible too – it was amazing to see first-hand. 

“The creatures in the White Sea were amazing, I didn’t expect such an abundance of life. 

PIC BY ALEXANDER BENEDIK/CATERS NEWS

“I didn’t use a heated vest– I needed to be able to operate the camera properly. 

“It was an incredible experience – I will dive here again soon.”