Friday, August 17, 2012
Prehistoric Antarctic Lake Could Have Ancient Life Forms
Cryptozoology News: Could prehistoric life forms live in this ancient Antartic lake? Lake Vostok is likely to harbor ancient, prehistoric life forms & possibly alien organisms some scientists think. The finding of prehistoric or alien life would truly be a paranormal discovery!
Russian experts drilled down and finally reached the surface of a gigantic freshwater lake, an achievement the mission chief likened to placing a man on the moon.
Lake Vostok could hold living organisms that have been locked in icy darkness for some 20 million years, as well as clues to the search for life elsewhere in the solar system.
Touching the surface of the lake, the largest of nearly 400 subglacial lakes in Antarctica, came after more than two decades of drilling. It was a major achievement avidly anticipated by scientists around the world.
"In the simplest sense, it can transform the way we think about life," NASA's chief scientist, Waleed Abdalati, told The Associated Press in an email Wednesday.
The Russian team made contact with the lake water at a depth of 12,366 feet (3,769 meters), about 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) east of the South Pole in the central part of the continent.
Scientists hope the lake might allow a glimpse into microbial life forms that existed before the Ice Age and are not visible to the naked eye. Scientists believe that microbial life may exist in the dark depths of the lake despite its high pressure and constant cold — conditions similar to those believed to be found under the ice crust on Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus.
Russian scientists will remove the frozen sample for analysis in December when the next Antarctic summer season comes. They reached the lake just before they had to leave at the end of the Antarctic summer, when plunging temperatures halt all travel to the region.
This 20-million-year-old lake under Antarctica, could harbour alien life forms & prehistoric microbes.
Controversy, lies around 3,700 metres beneath thick ice and it took the research team more than 30 years to drill through to it. The lake has been sealed off for millions of years with nothing able to get in or out, so any lifeforms found within are likely to be completely unique.
“According to our research, the quantity of oxygen there exceeds that on other parts of our planet by 10 to 20 times. Any lifeforms that we find are likely to be unique on Earth,” chief scientist of Russia’s Antarctic Expedition Sergey Bulat told Russian TV network RT.
The only other place that might have similar conditions is not on Earth at all - but on Europa, a satellite of Jupiter, leading boffins to speculate that if life is found in Vostok, it may be found there too.
The chance of discovering life, microscopic or monstrous, in the lake depends on the global science community's hope that the network of subterranean lakes in Antarctica were formed when the place was a cosier, more homely setting back in prehistory. If the lakes were actually formed by melting ice, the chances of finding any life are extremely slim.
If boffins' dreams come true, then the creatures that lived in these lakes way back could have found unique ways to evolve and survive beneath the ice, giving science a whole raft of new things to study and providing pointers as to how aliens could be living on relatively inhospitable planets.
Which naturally leads some to worry about what might be down there. Apart from prehistoric monsters, parasitic aliens or other monstrosities from the fertile imaginations of TV and movie writers, there are the more realistic fears that undiscovered and potentially lethal viruses and bacteria could be lurking in the deep.
However, the Russians have already sought to alleviate these concerns by letting everyone know that they'll be blasting radiation all round them to ensure nothing sinister emerges.
"Everything but the samples themselves will be carefully decontaminated using radiation. There is no need to worry,” said Valeriy Lukin, head of the Antarctic Expedition.
The flurry of activity on the ice-bound continent has also excited some Second World War conspiracy theorists and history buffs, who theorise that the Nazis had a secret base on Antarctica built back in the 1930s. According to Russian newswire RIA Novosti, back in 1943, Grand Admiral Karl Donitz was quoted as saying that "Germany's submarine fleet is proud that it created an unassailable fortress for the Fuhrer on the other end of the world".
The secret hideout is believed to have been constructed at Lake Vostok and could contain old Nazi archives. Nazi naval archives claim that after the Germans surrendered in 1945, a submarine U-530 arrived at the South Pole, where they built an ice cave and stored relics from the Third Reich and Hitler's secret files.
Later, according to even wilder rumour, a submarine U-977 arrived carrying the remains of Hitler and Eva Braun, so they could be stored for DNA cloning purposes.