Tuesday, February 22, 2005

What lurks beneath

The Russians are almost ready to complete a well they started drilling in Antarctica in 1970 - to break through the ice to a lake formed 500 million years ago and without direct contact with Earth's atmosphere for over 500 thousand years.
The lake is full of life despite three kilometers of ice that cover it. The scientist said that there was every reason for living creatures to exist there: the water was not stagnant; oxygen penetrates into the lake through the ice too. Supreme organisms cannot exist under such conditions. However, they did not exist 500 million years ago at all. There was no land life back then, whereas the ocean was filled with such primitive creatures as worms, mollusks and seaweed.
They think "supreme" organisms cannot exist in such conditions - I'd love to see it turn into a thriller flick discovery. The hole is drilled, an eye is placed to the scope that extends through 3,753 meters of ice and a large, dark hulk moves slowly by - the sound of an ancient beast rediscovered, changing history - scaring the pants off of some scientists.
Can't wait to see the headlines!


ljc said...

Mmmm... I hope they don't ruin it though.

Aprille said...

They halted for many years because the drilling technology used would have polluted the lake. Now, they say they can do it "clean".