The video journey reveals the mysteries scientists encountered after they successfully drilled through a massive ice sheet in Antarctica, reaching a subglacial lake never before explored by scientists.
Researchers studying Antarctica have revealed the first-ever glimpse at the mysterious underground lake located deep 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.
Scientists successfully managed to drill through Antarctica’s thick Ice Layers and say they have discovered life signs.
Now, scientists have revealed the first-ever video of the journey their camera made as it descended through the massive borehole.
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“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.
David Harwood, a micropaleontologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said that “discovering the animals was fully unexpected.”
To reach the subglacial lake, scientists drilled for two days, 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, it is expected that scientists will 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 leader of the project, explained in an article published by Nature.
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