The Hidden Mysteries of Antarctica
It’s more than just ice and penguins
There’s something rather mysterious about Antarctica, and humans since forever have wondered about what lies in the world’s last unexplored wilderness. Ever since the first explorers in the 1800s till the modern scientists of today, this continent continues to captivate us with its harsh conditions, freezing temperatures, barren landscapes and those adorably cute penguins.
The frozen continent is 99 percent covered in ice, making up 90 percent of all the ice on Earth. In spite of this, scientists have discovered many interesting things about the continent including whole hidden worlds under the icy plains.
Scientists have discovered a number of underground lakes in Antarctica, at least 400! They believe that these lakes were formed after the separation of Antarctica from Gondwanaland, the supercontinent. The reason these lakes haven;t frozen yet is because of the pressure from the weight of the ice sheet.
From the Taylor Glacier in McMurdo Dry Valley, there is a curious and rather morbid looking sight that is visible either from a helicopter or from cruise ships on a visit to the Ross Sea. A bright red waterfall gushes silently from the top of the glacier. The source? The red water comes from a salty lake that was one cut off from the atmosphere and preserved underground and is extremely rich in iron. Lacking in oxygen and sunlight, this deep red iron-rich water comes into contact with air and rusts, thereby giving it that bloody hue.
You can find see-through icefish. These strange creatures have large eyes and their internal organs can be seen through their translucent skin. The fish have antifreeze glycoproteins and cannot survive in warmer waters. They also don’t have any hemoglobin, a protein that makes our blood red.