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Huge colony of yeti crabs.

Huge colony of a new species of yeti crab - the 'Hoff Crab'.

The Hoff Crab, North Sea fisheries and flood prediction

17 January 2012

It's not often that science news goes viral, but when researchers dubbed a new species the 'Hoff Crab' more people than usual seemed to take notice!

This week in the Planet Earth Podcast Sue Nelson braves a freezing research aquarium at the British Antarctic Survey's Cambridge offices, to find out about the 'Hoff Crab' and a host of other new species discovered around hydrothermal vents on the Southern Ocean's East Scotia Ridge.

Scientists believe some Antarctic deep-water species represent the origins of deep-sea creatures around the world. But could all life on Earth have begun in these sulphurous and – to humans – toxic environments?

Far away in the North Sea, the fishing fleets that ply the waters for cod are subject to some 750 separate regulations. But how well do they work? To find out what effect they have on decision-making at sea, fisheries economist Alyson Little plans to spend time out with the fleet. Sue finds out how she'll use her insights as part of a three-year project looking at how well fisheries management plans will work in the future.


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The Planet Earth podcast - 'Hoff Crabs, North Sea fisheries, flood prediction'.

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Finally, Sue visits the University of Reading to learn about a new database of thunderstorms that will help improve storm predictions. So just how do you go about tracking a thunderstorm...?

If there's a subject you'd like to hear about in the Planet Earth Podcast, don't forget to let us know. Email your ideas to or if you're on Facebook or Twitter, contact us there – see the links below.

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