What's Waiting in Lake Vostok?
It’s that time of year again — time to discover new forms of life. Russian scientists are quite near Lake Vostok, an underground lake that’s been isolated from the world since before there were humans.From celsias:
Lake Vostok has never encountered humans. Its been undisturbed for 15 million years, and is completely unknown. It’s a subglacial lake about 4,000 metres beneath the ice sheet in Antarctica. It is in Antarctica, at Vostok, which also has the world’s coldest reported temperature, so it’s not been easy to get at to say the least.
I wonder what kind of extremophile creatures might be waiting down there — bacteria and insects from “another planet”.From Wikipedia:
The lake is located beneath Russia’s Vostok Station, 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) under the surface of the central East Antarctic ice sheet. The ice surface is at 3,488 meters (11,444 ft) above sea level. The lake is 250 kilometres (160 mi) long by 50 kilometres (31 mi) wide at its widest point, thus similar in size to Lake Ontario, and is divided into two deep basins by a ridge. The water over the ridge is about 200 metres (660 ft), compared to roughly 400 metres (1,300 ft) deep in the northern basin and 800 metres (2,600 ft) deep in the southern. Lake Vostok covers an area of 15,690 square kilometres (6,060 sq mi). It has an estimated volume of 5,400 cubic kilometres (1,300 cu mi) and consists of fresh water. The average depth is 344 metres (1,129 ft).