Scientists from Australia, US and NZ find signs of unknown life in Antarctic ice caves

❝ Lifeforms could exist in warm caves hollowed out of ice by volcanoes in Antarctica.

While that may sound akin to a science-fiction movie plot, scientists say they found plant, animal and unknown DNA in caves on the frozen continent.

Ceridwen Fraser…is the lead researcher of a team which has investigated caverns at Ross Island….She said forensic analyses of soil samples had revealed traces of DNA from algae, mosses and small animals found elsewhere in Antarctica. But some of the DNA sequences could not be fully identified.

❝ While the surface temperature is about —45C, some caves can reach a comparatively balmy 25C…“You could comfortably wear a T-shirt in there,” Dr Fraser said…

Scientists say the next step is to take a closer look at the caves and search for living organisms.

Keep an eye on this one. We may have to revive the ghost of James Arness.

4 thoughts on “Scientists from Australia, US and NZ find signs of unknown life in Antarctic ice caves

  1. Avowal says:

    “NASA Discovers Mantle Plume Almost as Hot as Yellowstone Supervolcano That’s Melting Antarctica From Below” http://www.newsweek.com/antarctica-melting-below-mantle-plume-almost-hot-yellowstone-supervolcano-705086
    “A new NASA study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica’s Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. Although the heat source isn’t a new or increasing threat to the West Antarctic ice sheet, it may help explain why the ice sheet collapsed rapidly in an earlier era of rapid climate change, and why it is so unstable today.” https://phys.org/news/2017-11-bolsters-theory-source-antarctica.html

  2. Terra Incognita says:

    “A team of scientists, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), heads to Antarctica this week (14 February) to investigate a mysterious marine ecosystem that’s been hidden beneath an Antarctic ice shelf for up to 120,000 years. The iceberg known as A-68, which is four times of London, calved off from the Larsen Ice Shelf in July 2017. The scientists will travel by ship to collect samples from the newly exposed seabed, which covers an area of around 5,818 km2. It is an urgent mission. The ecosystem that’s likely been hidden beneath the ice for thousands of years may change as sunlight starts to alter the surface layers of the sea.” (British Antarctic Survey (BAS), a component of the Natural Environment Research Council). https://www.bas.ac.uk/media-post/first-scientific-expedition-to-newly-exposed-antarctic-ecosystem/

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