Researchers in Antarctica, while investigating abnormally grooved ice on the surface of the continent that might indicate liquid water, have discovered the existence of a massive lake under Antarctica’s icy cap. The lake, currently unnamed, is narrow but stretches a whopping 62 miles in length beneath the glacial ice.
This is not the first time a subglacial lake has been found on–or rather, underneath–the continent. Nearly 400 subglacial lakes of varying sizes have been discovered on Antarctica since the 1990s, when the existence of such lakes was first proven. The largest, Lake Vostok, rivals North America’s Lake Ontario in its vastness.
Unlike Lake Vostok, though, this newly-discovered lake is situated in close proximity to an existing research station, thus enabling scientists to more easily discover what secrets might be contained within. Due to the makeup of the frozen continent, it is likely that the lake would have been isolated, preserved in its ancient state for approximately 25 million years. Perhaps equally ancient life forms still remain in the depths of the lake awaiting discovery, or the isolated circumstances could yield entirely one-of-a-kind, uniquely adapted creatures.
Hopefully it will not be long before scientific expeditions are able to shed some light on these mysteries that lie beneath Antarctica’s surface.