Mystery of Lake Vostok

After decades of drilling, a major achievement hailed by scientists around the world. Lake Vostok likes buried beneath Antarctica and hasn't been exposed to air or light in millions of years. Lake Vostok is very large—as big as Lake Ontario—beneath the Continental Ice Sheet in East Antarctica, located 800 miles from the South Pole. 35 million years ago, when the climate was warmer, it was thought to have been open to the air and surrounded by forests. The researchers said: 'At that time, the lake probably contained a complex network of organisms.' They think that the organisms were sealed in the lake, which is around a quarter of a mile deep, by the thick ice approximately 15 million years ago. One goal of the dig was to see whether some strange creatures lurked in that darkness. Perhaps even more mysterious is the discovery of an extremely powerful source of magnetic energy at the north end. No formal explanation for this anomaly has been made public, but Richard Hoagland believes it might be the result of accumulated metals as in the remains of a lost city. Author Rand Flem-Ath and others have argued for years, that beneath Antarctica’s ice may lie the ruins of Atlantis however it's still unproven.

 

The outlines of Lake Vostok are clearly visible in satellite imagery. Ice-penetrating radar indicates its water is up to 2000 feet deep. It has an overarching dome up to one-half mile in height. Estimates of filtered light at the surface indicate something like “continuous first-morning light” during summer months. Thermographic imaging has suggested an amazing 50-degree Fahrenheit average water temperature, with “hot spots” approaching 65 degrees—temperature levels attributable only to subsurface geothermal heat. At 300 miles long and 50 miles wide, the encapsulated atmosphere should have the ability to cleanse itself through interaction with the lake, and just possibly plant life. Their drilling project had been temporarily stopped in response to international anxieties.

In an article this past summer in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Chris McKay at NASA’s Ames Research Center warns the Russian effort could result in a geyser rising thousands of feet into the air and loss of life to the drillers. McKay believes high pressure gases accumulated in the lake cavity would act in the same way as those in a shaken Coca Cola, only on a far greater scale. McKay’s concerns are echoed by environmentalists who worry about contaminating an ancient pristine site. NASA’s motives, however, have been questioned in some quarters. Suspicion arose early in 2001 and raged across the Internet when the agency abruptly announced that it would discontinue efforts to explore the lake. Rumors of national security issues swirled amid talk of secret bases, magnetic anomalies, and ancient civilizations.

In February 2012, Russian scientists finally breached Lake Vostok. The lake lies beneath 3.5 kilometres of ice, and has been cut off from the rest of the world since Antarctica froze 14 million years ago. Based on two years of computer analysis of DNA sequences from ice samples, the final results showed that Lake Vostok contains a diverse set of microbes, as well as some multicellular organisms. Over 3,500 DNA sequences were identified in samples of ice 'as clear as diamonds' extracted from the ice, of which 95 percent were associated with types of bacteria.

According to a story on Russian news wire Ria Novosti.Sergei Bulat, a researcher at the Laboratory of Eukaryote Genetics at the St. Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, said, “After excluding all known contaminants … we discovered bacterial DNA that does not match any known species listed in global databanks. We call it unidentified and 'unclassified' life.” But few days later, Eukaryote genetics laboratory head Vladimir Korolyov told the Interfax news agency that they did not find any life forms -- just contaminants that remained from the drilling process.

Dr Scott Rogers, a Bowling Green State University professor of biological sciences and his team found sequences that are similar to types of fungi as well as water fleas, arthropods and a mollusk. Interestingly some of the bacteria are generally found in fish guts, suggesting that there could be fish in the subterranean lake, according to the research published in the PLOS ONE journal.

'These organisms may have slowly adapted to the changing conditions in Lake Vostok during the past 15 to 35 million years when the lake converted from a terrestrial system to a subglacial system.'

Several of the sequences are similar to organisms that live near deep sea thermal vents, leading researchers to believes that Lake Vostok might contain similar features in its icy depths. Hydrothermal vents could provide sources of energy and nutrients vital for organisms living in the lake,' the scientists said.

Sources:
Atlantis Rising Magazine No. 42 Nov/Dec 2003: "Lake Vostok - Is The Lid Coming Off?";

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2358143/Underground-Antarctic-Lake-Vostok-sealed-15m-years-reveals-thousands-forms-life.html;

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/03/11/russia-microbe-water-samples-antarctic-lake-vostok/
Mystery of Lake Vostok Mystery of Lake Vostok Reviewed by Tripzibit on 19:41 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Hi, very interesting post thanks for sharing. Can I contact your through your email. Thanks!

    Randy
    randydavis387 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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