Can We Find Life Under The Icy Ground Of Antarctica?

Despite the freezing temperatures that are recorded on average in the area, up to 63 ° C below zero, a group of scientists from the National University of Australia found several points under the icy ground of Antarctica where it makes a pleasant thermal sensation of 25 ºC. All of them are concentrated in what is known as Mount Erebus, an active volcano on the island of Ross, whose vapors have molded ice caves in which life could develop. In fact, samples recovered from the soil of these caves have revealed traces of DNA from moss, algae and small animals. Most of them resemble the genetic material of other plants and animals on the island, but there are certain samples that have not been identified, which could be very interesting for their investigation, since it would involve the revelation of new species of living beings.

This is not the first time that life is found under the ice. One of the researchers of the project, Professor Craig Cary, from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, confesses that there have already been others who have encountered a variety of bacteria and fungi that survived in these volcanic caves, but now there may be something else: “The findings of this new study suggest that there might be larger plants and animals.”

Now the important thing is to check if the samples taken assume that there was life, but it has ceased to exist, or if it is still possible that there are living beings in the depths of these caves. To do this, they affirm that the next step is to take a closer look, in deeper areas, and try to identify to which organisms the DNA found belongs. If they meet, the team points out, “an exciting door opens to a new world.”

Moreover, the group of researchers states that volcanoes are very common in Antarctica, so this type of subglacial systems could be common throughout the continent. An interesting range of possibilities that opens up for the 1,000 to 5,000 scientists who live there throughout the year.

Glenn Clinton

HI! I'm Glenn and I'm the founder of our boutique news agency at I have had an interest in nature and science from a very early age, and thoroughly enjoy reporting on the latest scientific research. I'm a graduate from Michigan State University and work in mechanical engineering.

Apart from science reporting I also occasionally cover celebrity/entertainment news.

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Glenn Clinton

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