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Russian team reach lake below Antarctic ice

Posted on Monday, 13 August, 2012 | Comment icon 21 comments

Image credit: Calee Allen / NOAA

It's taken over 20 years but scientists drilling through the ice have finally reached lake Vostok.

In an achievement that has been likened to putting a man on the Moon, the Russian team of scientists have finally succeeded in reaching the hidden freshwater lake located deep down below the Antarctic ice. The team drilled down over 12,000ft at a location 800 miles east of the South Pole.

Because the cold, dark environment of the lake has been untouched for 20 million years, scientists hope it will provide a unique opportunity to study both ancient microbial life and to see what possibilities might exist for life below the icy surfaces of Europa and Enceladus.

"In the simplest sense, it can transform the way we think about life," said NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati.

"Opening a scientific frontier miles under the Antarctic ice, Russian experts drilled down and finally reached the surface of a gigantic freshwater lake, an achievement the mission chief likened to placing a man on the moon."

  View: Full article |  Source: MSNBC

  Discuss: View comments (21)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Metal Head on 14 August, 2012, 1:18
There is an X-Files episode where they drill down and find some kind of parasite in some ice cores and they all go crazy.
Comment icon #13 Posted by csspwns on 14 August, 2012, 1:26
and maybe they will wake up an unstoppable virus tat will kill everyone
Comment icon #14 Posted by Junior Chubb on 14 August, 2012, 1:48
Hey, maybe they will find all the UFO's that were supposed to land in London. No wonder they didn't make the Olympics, the Russians were to slow letting them out...
Comment icon #15 Posted by CRIPTIC CHAMELEON on 14 August, 2012, 7:46
As long as they don't release The Thing .
Comment icon #16 Posted by Karlis on 14 August, 2012, 12:05
Anyone care to make a post that is even remotely connected with this Discussion Board? Science & Technology
Comment icon #17 Posted by BiffSplitkins on 14 August, 2012, 12:13
Anyone care to make a post that is even remotely connected with this Discussion Board? Science & Technology Yes, I will. What happens if they end up releasing very old destructive pathogens that we have no immunity to? (now go get a cup of coffee and calm down - )
Comment icon #18 Posted by Junior Chubb on 14 August, 2012, 21:06
Anyone care to make a post that is even remotely connected with this Discussion Board? Science & Technology Not really. After you my learned friend...
Comment icon #19 Posted by Bavarian Raven on 14 August, 2012, 23:50
well i for one think is this an amazing accomplishment
Comment icon #20 Posted by Kludge808 on 15 August, 2012, 21:27
We know about critters that lives around underwater vents which are hostile environments to most life. It will be quite interesting to see how life has evolved to meet the conditions in Lake Vostok. I don't believe we'll find life as it was 20 million years ago but rather that which has evolved from that time.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Squirrel93 on 17 August, 2012, 21:59
Let's hope we don't get a Balrog effect. You know, digging too greedily and too deep...

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