In “lost” lake in Antarctica found the remains of life

Uncover the secrets hidden in the history of planet Earth, can only be the work of many research groups. Each of them does their job — for example, SALSA was carefully studying the lake, hidden under thick layers of Antarctic ice. In early January, they drilled a wide hole in the ice on an isolated lake Mercer. The result of this work has already bore fruit — scientists have found underwater remains of not only sea creatures but also animals and plants that live in the high altitudes.

Озеро Мерсер

According to David Harwood, micropaleontology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the discovery of the remains of animals was totally unexpected. Previously, scientists were not able to make such a discovery as the method of study was visual and did not mean the study of water samples: they just looked under a thick layer of ice with the help of radar and other remote sensing devices.

Remains of animals were discovered during the study of samples from the lake through a microscope. Among them were dead crustaceans and the creature known as “water bear” or tihohodka. David Harwood shared that he was surprised by the discovery of some terrestrial animals. For example, in the samples were found eight-legged tardigrade living in wet soil. Also found were the tendrils of plants and fungi.

The team believes that these animals lived in the Transantarctic mountains, located about 50 kilometers from the lake. It is believed that they were washed into the lake during the warming that occurred some 120,000 years ago. During the next cold snap, they freeze under a kilometer layer of ice and was discovered only now.

This is a big discovery for scientists as being of such complexity was discovered under the ice for the first time in history. In lake Whillans, located near Mercer, earlier, too was discovered the remains of living beings, but it was tiny microbes.

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