A view down the the borehole at about 3,500 feet (1,070 meters) below the ice. Image Credit: Kathy Kasic/salsa-antarctica.org.

Video Recorded by Camera Sent Into Drill Hole a Kilometer Beneath Antarctica

This video shows what lurks beneath Antarctica's surface.


The video journey reveals the mysteries scientists encountered after they successfully drilled through a massive ice sheet in Antarctica, reaching a subglacial lake scientists never explored. Researchers studying Antarctica have revealed the first-ever glimpse at the mysterious underground lake beneath the massive ice sheet.

It is twice the size of Manhattan, and experts have already made stunning discoveries. Known as Subglacial Lake Mercer, it measures more than sixty square kilometers. The subglacial lake was discovered a decade ago and has never been explored until now.


Finally, scientists successfully drilled through Antarctica’s thick Ice Layers and say they have found life signs. Scientists have revealed the first-ever video of their camera’s journey as it descended through the massive borehole.


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A journey beneath the Ice

“Follow us through the SALSA borehole as we travel about 1100 meters / 3500 feet down through the Antarctic Ice Sheet and into Mercer Subglacial Lake!” scientists from the Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access project, aka SALSA, wrote on Instagram. “The UV collar at the top of the borehole lights up, irradiating any sources of contamination. Once at the lake, we can see the transition between the lake water and the bottom of the ice sheet.” As we reported in an earlier article, the researchers revealed that they discovered crustaceans’ remains and so-called water bears( tardigrades) in the icy depths.

They also say that life could still exist down there. A micropaleontologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, David Harwood said that “discovering the animals was fully unexpected.” Scientists drilled for two days to reach the subglacial lake, successfully breaking through the ice on December 26, 2018.

“After four days of troubleshooting components that sustained wear and tear from sitting through two winters on the ice, the Drill Team began drilling the main borehole on the evening of December 23 and reached the lake faster than expected at 10.30 pm on December 26 with a borehole depth of 1084 meters,” a statement read.

Now that they’ve successfully reached the subglacial lake, scientists are expected to further explore the lake with a remotely operated vehicle that will record new data on the mysterious pool of water. Scientists hope that cameras onboard the remotely operated vehicle will find evidence of animals living in the lake.

“We don’t know what’s going to be there,” John Priscu, a lake ecologist at Montana State University in Bozeman and project leader, explained in an article by Nature.


Subglacial Lake Mercer, a mysterious and hidden gem beneath Antarctica’s ice sheet, continues to spark scientific curiosity. Situated over 3,000 feet (914 meters) below the surface, this enigmatic body of water remains trapped under a massive layer of ice. Despite the extreme conditions, Lake Mercer is teeming with life, as researchers have discovered microbial organisms thriving in its frigid depths.

The lake’s unique ecosystem offers valuable insights into the potential for extraterrestrial life on icy celestial bodies, such as Europa, Jupiter’s moon. As scientists continue to study Subglacial Lake Mercer, their findings contribute to our understanding of Earth’s hidden ecosystems and the potential for life beyond our planet.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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