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Michael Majchrowicz
By Michael Majchrowicz August 30, 2022

Claim about hidden Antarctic continent and killer squid is Pants on Fire!

If Your Time is short

  • There is irrefutable evidence that the density of Earth is greater than that of the crust layer, geophysicists say. That fact renders it impossible for any kind of civilization or infrastructure to exist beneath a continent.

  • The claim of a homicidal, squidlike creature known as "Organism 46B" was adopted from a satirist named C. Michael Forsyth, who has said it is fictitious.

There could be another continent below Antarctica. Not only that, but a giant squid-like creature lurks nearby, deep in the Antarctic Ocean, at least according to a blog called "Alien News". 

And there’s more: The creature has already killed three scientists — and Russian intelligence knows the secret behind it all. 

So says the supposed news blog shared in an Aug. 24 Facebook post stating, "Russia tells the world that Antarctica Is NOT what (it) seems."

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

First, let’s consider the claim that a "brand-new species" of squid, referred to in the article as "Organism 46B," purportedly living far beneath the ice shelves of Antarctica and preying on a team of Russian scientists trying to study it. 

The earliest mention we could find of the so-called "Organism 46B" is a September 2012 satirical news story by author C. Michael Forsyth. He wrote for Weekly World News, which published fictional news stories from 1979 to 2007 that centered on paranormal themes and American folklore. 

Forsyth’s article was republished on a personal blog page, where it’s clearly labeled fictitious. It describes "a highly intelligent octopuslike creature that claimed the lives" of three Russian scientists who discovered it.

In reality, Antarctica, which is Earth’s most southerly continent and whose gargantuan and sprawling ice shelves contain about 80% of the world’s freshwater, is home to various lesser-known critters, including krill, crustaceans and, yes, really big squids — but no squid that has ever been known to prey on humans.

We’re referring to the aptly named colossal squid, aka Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, described by the nonprofit marine-life advocacy group, Oceana, as a "massive squid that lives in the deep sea surrounding Antarctica" and is "the largest invertebrate on Earth." 

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Colossal squid can measure up to nearly 50 feet long and weigh more than 1,000 pounds, according to Oceana.

But colossal squid do not emit any kind of poisonous venom that paralyzes their prey. They have tentacles "covered with suckers that are equipped with strong, sharp hooks, used in both capturing prey and fighting off predation," the Museum of New Zealand says on its website.

It’s unknown how many of the creatures exist, as sightings are exceedingly rare, considering the squid live thousands of feet below the Antarctic Ocean’s surface and have been found as far as the southern waters of New Zealand, according to the museum. 

In searching news archives, we also found no mention of fatal attacks carried out on humans by this particular species of squid.

As for the other claim that another continent exists beneath Antarctica, evidence-based science tells us that’s impossible.

Andrew Campbell, a University of Chicago geophysics professor, explained why in a PolitiFact interview once before: The planet’s total mass has a far greater density than its crust alone, coming in at 5.5 grams per cubic centimeter on average (counting all the mass of the planet) compared with 2.7 grams per cubic centimeter on average for rocks in the crust.

If Earth were hollow and there were a civilization below the crust, the planet’s mass would need a lower density than the rocks in the crust. And that’s just not the case.

Our ruling

A Facebook post suggested another continent may exist beneath Antarctica, which is also home to homicidal sea creature of unknown origin referred to as "Organism 46B."

"Organism 46B" is a fictional creature. And there is no evidence of  "another continent" beneath Antarctica.

We rate these claims Pants on Fire!

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Claim about hidden Antarctic continent and killer squid is Pants on Fire!

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