Jan 15, 2019

Hidden Beneath a Half Mile of Ice, Antarctic Lake Teems with Life

Posted by in category: alien life

The dark waters of a lake deep beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet and a few hundred miles from the South Pole are teeming with bacterial life, say scientists — despite it being one of the most extreme environments on Earth.

The discovery has implications for the search for life on other planets — in particular on the planet Mars, where signs of a buried lake of liquid saltwater were seen in data reported last year by the European Space Agency’s orbiting Mars Express spacecraft.

Expedition leader John Priscu, a professor of polar ecology at the University of Montana, told Live Science in a telephone interview from Antarctica this week that early studies of water samples taken from Lake Mercer — which is buried beneath a glacier — showed that they contained approximately 10,000 bacterial cells per milliliter.

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