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Hidden ocean found beneath Chinese desert

Posted on Monday, 10 August, 2015 | Comment icon 13 comments

The Tarim basin is a dry and barren region. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Colegota
Scientists in China have discovered what appears to be a vast ocean beneath the arid Tarim basin.
Water can be found in some of the most unexpected of places and now the Tarim basin in northwestern Xinjiang, a region that is generally regarded as one of the driest places on Earth, appears to be hiding an entire ocean beneath its deceptively desolate surface.

The scientists behind the discovery have indicated that this hidden subterranean reservoir could contain ten times more water than all of the Great Lakes in the United States put together.

"This is a terrifying amount of water," said Prof Li Yan who led the study. "Never before have people dared to imagine so much water under the sand. Our definition of desert may have to change."

The water is thought to have accumulated below the desert thanks to melt water running down from the nearby mountains and while researchers had long suspected that they would find at least some water beneath the sand it hadn't been clear until now just how much there actually was.

The hunt is now on to determine if similar oceans could exist underneath other deserts as well.

Source: IB Times | Comments (13)

Tags: Ocean, China, Tarim Basin

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by bubblykiss on 10 August, 2015, 20:27
They will drain it all and then, it will cause a giant landslide and all the America will come right next to China. I've always wanted to be able to walk from Garden Grove to Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal and now it looks like my dreams may finally come true.
Comment icon #5 Posted by seeder on 10 August, 2015, 21:01
Yay! Something else they can pollute!
Comment icon #6 Posted by shaddow134 on 10 August, 2015, 22:36
Sssssh, don't tell nestle...
Comment icon #7 Posted by Future_Ikann on 10 August, 2015, 23:11
Isn't this like how the Dr. Who episode Water of Mars began? water under a desert?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Infernal Gnu on 10 August, 2015, 23:29
YAY! They won't have to invade this ocean like they are the South China Sea. Now all they have to do is create another colossal water project out of it and displace all the natives in the area. They won't mind.
Comment icon #9 Posted by DieChecker on 11 August, 2015, 0:41 Interesting. It appears that no water ever flows out of the basin, so when it gets underground, it stays there. This could make the basin into a breadbasket region.... at least for a couple decades till the water runs out.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 11 August, 2015, 1:26
I've always wanted to be able to walk from Garden Grove to Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal and now it looks like my dreams may finally come true. Never give up on your dreams.
Comment icon #11 Posted by fred_mc on 11 August, 2015, 4:33
Interesting. Now they should look under the surface of Mars I think since the whole planet is a desert.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Goodnite on 11 August, 2015, 11:00
If used wisely it could help with the desertification problems they have.
Comment icon #13 Posted by BeastieRunner on 11 August, 2015, 16:40
Isn't this like how the Dr. Who episode Water of Mars began? water under a desert? Somebody gets it! It was also the premise of a Bond movie, too.

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