Antarctica is the least explored continent on the planet. And this is not surprising, given that the temperature here can reach minus 80 ° C, and most of it is covered with a massive glacier. Scientists have established that the glacier is so heavy that it could bend the mainland under itself by almost 500 m.
Gradually, the ice sheet of Antarctica begins to melt, revealing its secrets in the literal sense. It’s all the fault of global warming. And the researchers became interested to know what hides this once blooming continent, which has been covered with ice for the past several million years.
The deepest place on earth on land The thinning of the ice sheet at the Bird Glacier revealed a valley below it. Moreover, it has become officially recognized as the deepest point on Earth, which is on land: almost 2780 meters below sea level.
It is too early to say something about the valley in detail: scientists have just begun to study. However, they have no doubt that this incredible place will still delight everyone with interesting discoveries.
Lake Vostok: unique conditions and amazing microorganisms Lake Vostok is located under ice that is almost 4 km thick. This creates an incredible pressure of 300 atmospheres. It seems surprising that in such conditions something can survive. However, scientists suggest that viable microorganisms may remain in the lake.
Drilling scheme for a well in Lake Vostok.
Moreover: the local ecosystem was formed and developed in conditions of complete isolation from the outside world for a very long time. Consequently, it can be strikingly different from anything we are used to. For scientists, the opportunity to explore Lake Vostok is like a trip to another world.
Active volcanoes Antarctica hides active volcanoes under ice. They are not active enough to completely melt the ice. However, they completely maintain water in a liquid state around them. Often, next to such volcanoes (Mount Erebus can be taken as an example), a system of sub-ice caves is formed. They create a kind of closed chain.
Scientists have already begun to explore the described caves. They found traces of DNA unknown to science there, providing encouraging evidence that researchers can find living organisms as yet unknown to us. So Antarctica is capable of hiding a lot of secrets.
Remains of Ancient Animals Melting ice also leads to the fact that scientists are increasingly finding frozen mummies of penguins or the remains of ancient dinosaurs. And all this is in excellent condition due to the extreme cold. So the scientists are very enthusiastic. They intend to further explore Antarctica.
In addition, there is a practical sense in such a study. If global warming continues, the mainland could become habitable. Even now, scientists are reporting the appearance of tundra zones on it. Researchers say that in the near future, we can expect the emergence of vegetation and an increase in biodiversity in terms of the presence of various birds and animals. Therefore, the interest in what Antarctica hides is not difficult to understand.