Astonishingly huge lake discovered beneath Antarctica
Antarctica holds a myriad of secrets just waiting to be revealed. Millions of years ago in prehistoric times, Antarctica was not the large Ice sheet it is today. It was a large forest cover and host to a variety of flora and fauna, proof of which are in the many fossils found there till today. Did you know that the largest canyon system of the world exists in Antarctica? Scientists affirm the fact that dozens of meteorite samples lie waiting to be excavated in Antarctica, formed billions of years ago from the early days of the solar system.
To add to the excitement of Antarctica, Geologists have made the most amazing discovery of recent times. A second subglacial lake discovered beneath Antarctica gives rise to many theories that beneath Antarctica lies a kingdom of lakes, rocky slopes and even mountain ranges.
1 Second Major Discovery since Lake Vostock in Antarctica
When researchers discovered the largest underwater lake Vostok, which had existed beneath the ice sheet of Antarctica for almost 25 million years, little did they know that it was just the start of Antarctica’s secret realm.
The second lake is now another trophy to the collection of gems that are being revealed beneath Antarctica. The discovery was revealed at the conference meeting of European Geophysical Union (EGU) in Vienna on 17th of April this year.
The all important and fascinating discovery was made by an international team of scientists who were also responsible for another major discovery last year, the existence of the world’s largest canyon beneath Antarctica.
2 Amazing Lake Discovered Beneath Antarctica through Radar Imaging
The excavation of such a prized phenomena was made possible by studying the geographic features of surface ice whose shape was characterized by the elements and features existing beneath. Using radar penetration, scientists are easily able to make valid assumptions of what may lie beneath the ice surface.
The subglacial lake measured 100 km long and 10 km wide. It was in the shape of a ribbon and connected with the canyon. Scientists felt that the various channels leading from the lake transported water into the ocean via the West Ice shelf.
3 Scientists believe several geographical mysteries lay hidden beneath Antarctica
The research was conducted by a collaboration of scientists from China, UK and the US. Most geologists believe that a vast array of virgin ecosystems may exist beneath Antarctica, formed millions of years ago and discoveries are of major importance as geographical changes in Antarctica can impact human life around the world.
Apart from the underwater lake discovered in Antarctica, in 2011 an entire mountain range was found existing beneath the surface. Named the Gamburtsev Mountains, it featured tall peaks rising up to 3000 meters and stretched across a vast area of 1200 km over the interior of the continent.
4 Ecosystems Existing For Millions of Years
The researchers from the UK, China and the USA are going to have a meeting this May, to discuss the radar data that they have independently gathered in order to try and absolutely confirm the existence of both the canyon system and the subglacial lake. Both would be of immense interest to geologists, who are keen to explore ecosystems that have remained untouched for tens of millions of years.
70 percent of the planet’s freshwater lie in Antarctica; not forgetting 90 percent of freshwater ice covering entire Antarctica. The entire Antarctica landmass measures 14 million sq Km. The majority of research conducted in Antarctica isn’t on the surface but beneath it.
5 3500 DNA Strands found in Lake Discovered beneath Antarctica
Whether life exists within such phenomena, is not known as of yet but scientists have reason to believe that basic microbes could be existing in the depths of ice. Lake Vostok alone is believed to possess more than 3500 different DNA sequences consisting of bacteria, viruses and marine life.
A smaller lake called Lake Whelan yielded 130,000 millions cells for every milliliter of icy sub-glacial water. That is the same figure found in the depths of Earth’s oceans. The incredible fact of such a discovery is the miracle of microbes surviving without sunlight for the last 1 million years. It provides evidence of the fact that the same possibilities could exist in all of the lakes discovered beneath Antarctica.