The most isolated and most mysterious continent on Earth is undoubtedly Antarctica. Discoveries and finds never cease to amaze us, among them we can highlight the Martian meteorite, the Blood Falls, a lake lost in ice and much more.
O awesome.club decided to research a little more about the discoveries that have been happening on this intriguing continent and what experts have been saying about it.
A Martian meteorite with a trail of life
The Martian meteorite, known by the name of Allan Hills 84001, was found in the Allan Hills Mountains of Antarctica on December 27, 1984. The find caused a lot of commotion because on its surface were found fossilized microscopic structures that could have been bacteria. The extraterrestrial origin hypothesis is still open, and it is intensified by the fact that the size of the structures found is 20 to 100 nanometers in diameter, much smaller than any cellular life form we know.
The uniqueness of ALH 84001 also lies in the fact that, according to research, it separated from its home planet 4 billion years ago, when there was still liquid water there. Meteorite remains found on Earth no longer belong to the ‘wet’ era of Mars.
A lake under 4 km of ice
One of the greatest geographic discoveries of the 20th century was the subglacial lake Vostok, found in Antarctica. The most surprising thing about him is that he was under a 4 km layer of ice. Scientists believe that this process took place several million years ago.
The size of the lake is impressive: the total area reaches 16 thousand kilometers and the depth can reach 1.2 kilometers. Most likely it will not freeze due to underground geothermal. The drilling process was time-consuming and difficult. It started in 1989, stopped in 1999 for fear that the process would contaminate the ecosystem, and was resumed in 2006 to be completed only in 2013.
Since 2015, the stage of active exploration of the lake began. In a water show, scientists discovered many microorganisms and one unidentified. But they are only on the surface. The most interesting will come when they start looking at the bottom. As the water gets warmer by the hot springs, life is likely. Perhaps unknown species will be found.
a burned forest
Since the time of the first expeditions, scientists have suspected that Antarctica was once a green continent. But not long ago, discoveries were made that left scientists quite surprised: in different areas of the continent, burned and petrified forests were found, which not only prove the theory of green Antarctica, but also represent a new challenge for scientists: to find out what happened to the Earth. forest.
The study of the fossils showed a high level of fire damage, which suggests that ancient forests disappeared around 250 million years ago as a result of a huge fire that could have been caused by a meteorite crash, or even by the volcanic activity. Research continues.
91 volcanoes under the ice
Scientists recently discovered a volcanic formation hidden beneath the ice. It is possible to say that it is the largest in the world, with up to 91 volcanoes. How many of them are still active is a big mystery, because they are hidden under the glacier that is two kilometers thick. The region is constantly surveyed with radar and other equipment.
One of the researchers is Robert Bingham of the Global Climate Change Research Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is sure that other volcanoes may be hidden under the sea, under the great glacial shelf, which could make Antarctica the region with the highest concentration of volcanoes in the world. Today, scientists are particularly concerned about how an eruption could affect melting ice and the risks that would entail.
A waterfall of ‘blood’
Imagine what the English researcher Griffith Taylor felt when he discovered the Blood Falls in 1911. A red stream coming out of a white glacier is enough to terrify anyone. But the scientist didn’t lose his mind, he stopped to think and imagined that the color had something to do with the algae in the place.
For a long time these waterfalls remained a great mystery, solved only in the 21st century. Glacial water samples and other studies have shown that the water comes from a subglacial lake that has been isolated for a long time. The microorganisms managed to adapt to the absence of light and oxygen and, in the process of evolution, began to receive vital energy to restore the sulfates dissolved in water into sulfites.
This natural phenomenon leads scientists to imagine that the same life-preserving phenomenon may have happened on other planets.
The dinosaurs of Antarctica
Scientists found the first dinosaur remains in Antarctica in 1986. In 2006, 20 years later, they repeated the finding, but only in individual specimens. In 2016, on James Ross Island, an expedition found more than a ton of dinosaur remains.
This amount of material available for analysis is a good opportunity to try to understand what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. Scientists are actively working with these remains. Some samples are more than 71 million years old. Detailed data on the species are not yet known.
Antarctica is surrounded by myths and the discoveries that take place on the continent give rise to many conspiracy theories. Many lies about the ways of modern science are told on the internet after some discoveries. Let’s see some.
Since 2013, many people say that scientists have found pyramids in Antarctica similar to those in Egypt. Satellite images are often presented as evidence. The incredible news caused an avalanche of discussion and interpretation, and the truth took a long time to come out.
The person responsible for the fake news was Steven Hannard, one of the members of the Alien Disclosue Group. The pyramid photo is actually a photo from a climbers blog elsewhere. The pyramid in the photograph is Mount Vinson, the highest mountain on the continent, with about 4,900 meters of altitude and the structure is not the same.
Another very shocking news was the discovery of super long skulls in Antarctica. As evidence, photos of skulls were presented that, in reality, were from museums that showed the artificial deformation of skulls, common in antiquity.
Some people saw on Google Maps a strange object at coordinates 54°39’44.62″S 36°11’42.47″W. The ‘discovery’ went viral and everyone started talking about it. The original video already has more than 3 million plays.
There were a wide variety of assumptions about the nature of the object, but the most popular was the arrival of a UFO on the island of San Pedro. Scientists were quite skeptical about the theory and claimed to be sure that the mysterious craft is nothing more than a block of ice.
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