For 15 million years, a frozen lake has been hidden deep beneath Antarctica’s frozen crust, possibly concealing prehistoric or unknown (and perhaps dangerous) life. (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). Now Russian scientists are on the getting ready to discover its secrets.
The Russians have been drilling through the ice for weeks in a race to reach the bottom before the end of the Arctic summer. In CNews, Alissa de Carbonnel quotes polar researcher Alexei Turkeyev as saying, "There's only a bit left to go."
But how do they explore a place where no one has gone before without spoiling it or bringing back some foreign virus? Scientists think the lake may reveal new life forms, which will show how life evolved on Earth and how the planet was before the ice age. It could even offer indicate what conditions for life exist in similar extremes on Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. De Carbonnel quotes researcher Valery Lukin as saying, "It's like exploring an alien planet where no one has been before. We don't know what we'll find."
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