Life Abundant In Lake Vostok Covered By Ice For 15 Million Years Lake Vostok, buried under a glacier in Antarctica, is so dark, deep and cold that scientists had considered it a possible model for other planets, a place where nothing could live. The lake lies far below sea level in a depression that formed 60 million years ago when the continental plates shifted and cracked.
The Insanely Deep Layers of Ice Covering Lake Vostok, Visualized
Antarctic Lake Vostok buried under two miles of ice found to teem with life. Analysis of ice cores obtained from the basin of Lake Vostok, the subglacial lake that Russian scientists drilled down to in 2012, have revealed DNA from an estimated 3,507 organisms. While the majority were found to be bacteria, many of which were new to science, there were also other single celled organisms and multicellular organisms found, including from fungi.
Russian team announced that Antarctica's vast Lake Vostok had been discovered to contain life not found elsewhere on Earth. Because of the long isolation, it has long been believed that Lake Vostok could contain new lifeforms, and unique geochemical processes. The overlying ice provides a continuous paleo-climatic record of 400,000 years, although the lake water itself may have been isolated for as long as 15 million years. Lake is supersaturated with oxygen, 50 times greater than...
The research: Until the mid-1990s, nobody knew there was a lake two miles under Antarctica’s icy Vostok Station. Now Lake Vostok is understood to hold more water than almost any other lake in the world. On Sunday, a Russian team drilled through the ice to the lake’s surface, a process that has taken more than 20 years. Read related article.
Lake Vostok, Antarctica: (February 8, 2012) "Russian scientists have confirmed that they have penetrated Antarctica's Lake Vostok, an event that may "expand the limits of life on Earth," a U.S. scientist says. At 8:25 p.m. Moscow time on Sunday, drillers hit lake water at a depth of 12,355 feet (3,766 meters)—making them the first ever to probe a subglacial lake, according to a statement provided by Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. #oceanography