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Life may thrive down in icy Antarctic caves

Posted on Monday, 11 September, 2017 | Comment icon 19 comments

What could be living in these icy caves ? Image Credit: PD-USGOV-NOAA
Scientists have found evidence of life in a cave system hidden deep beneath the Antarctic ice.
Earth's southernmost continent might not be the most obvious place to look for warm, habitable environments, but according to a new study, some of the cave systems situated beneath the icy wastes of Antarctica are not only warm but are also potentially teeming with life.

The caves hollowed out around Mt Erebus on Antarctica's Ross Island for instance are so warm that it is possible to comfortably wander around them without even needing a coat.

Light can also make its way down in to the caves where the ice above is particularly thin.

By examining soil samples collected from these caves, the scientists were able to find evidence of mosses, algae and even small animals.

"The results from this study give us a tantalizing glimpse of what might live beneath the ice in Antarctica - there might even be new species of animals and plants," said Dr Ceridwen Fraser.

The next step of the research will involve actively seeking out organisms within the cave system.

"If they exist, it opens the door to an exciting new world," said Professor Laurie Connell.

Source: New Zealand Herald | Comments (19)

Tags: Antarctica

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by AstralHorus on 12 September, 2017, 13:46
I feel their gonna stumble upon a active nazi base, and branden Frazier is gonna save the day in a comical fashion.
Comment icon #11 Posted by AstralHorus on 12 September, 2017, 13:51
Also Russian scientist found a nazi artic base that was abandoned. Think I saw it here originally
Comment icon #12 Posted by BeastieRunner on 12 September, 2017, 17:50
I bet the find some really cool stuff in the caves.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Parsec on 12 September, 2017, 18:27
Yeah, Arctic and Antarctic are not exactly the same
Comment icon #14 Posted by glorybebe on 12 September, 2017, 18:50
Funny how stories of worlds hidden under ice could have a little bit of a possibility.
Comment icon #15 Posted by AstralHorus on 13 September, 2017, 13:25
True but like stated, still interesting to think of the possibility with this new light that has been shed.
Comment icon #16 Posted by paperdyer on 13 September, 2017, 15:03
Great and very interesting find. Can they look for a Stargate while they're there as well? If the caves are that warm we can see if we can grow food down there. Plenty of water available. I guess we'd have to make sure the caves are stable first.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Prif_the_Pirate on 14 September, 2017, 17:49
There is evidence that Hitler was actually sent the Anenerbe down to Antarctica before WW2. The connection between the history of Anenerbe and the speculated Vril society isn't clear.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Parsec on 15 September, 2017, 20:11
He also sent men both to the Sahara and Gobi deserts, yet they are quite different places. So what's your point? Alas, I do miss Brendan Fraser!
Comment icon #19 Posted by Prif_the_Pirate on 15 September, 2017, 20:53
My point is that there were Nazis at both poles around WW2. Although it is doubtful they really built a base with flying saucers that attacked Admiral Byrd's fleet during Operation Highjump, they were there. Just pointing it out because it's a cool fact. Brendan Fraser is a Hollywood gem.

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