“I wasn’t surprised to find life under there, but I was surprised how much life there was, and how they made a living. They are essentially eating the Earth.“
- John Priscu, lead scientist
Scientists present definitive proof that life exists .5 miles beneath the ice sheet in the Antarctic lake. Pictured here, a coccoid shaped microbial cell with an attached sediment particle from the Subglacial Lake Whillans water column
- Confirmed: Microbial life found half mile below Antarctic ice sheet (Los Angeles Times, Aug 20, 2014):
In an icy lake half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, scientists have discovered a diverse ecosystem of single-celled organisms that have managed to survive without ever seeing the light of the sun.
The discovery, reported Wednesday in the journal Nature is not so much a surprise as a triumph of science and engineering. The research team spent 10 years and more than $10 million to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that life did indeed exist in subglacial lakes near the South Pole.
“It’s the real deal,” said Peter Doran, an Earth scientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who was not involved in the study. “There was news that they found life early this year, but a bunch of us were waiting for the peer reviewed paper to come out before we jumped for joy.” Continue reading »
Tags: Antarctica, Environment, Global News, Science