Lindblad Expeditions / National Geographic
EXPLORATIONS – A Lindblad Expeditions Blog

Russian Scientists Reach Ancient Lake in Antarctica

One decade after they began drilling, a team of Russian scientists has bored through two miles of ice to reach a lake that has remained untouched for 15 million to 34 million years. The bore broke through the ice and built-up pressure in the lake forced water back up the bore hole 100-130 feet as planned, which the scientists say will form an ice plug and prevent the drilling fluids from contaminating the pristine lake. They hit the lake days before they would have to leave as their location is one of the coldest in Antarctica with temperatures already reaching -45F. They will return next season to begin drawing samples from the lake and analyzing them.

The scientists hope to find life in these waters. If they do, it would garner support for the notion that alien life could exist in the subsurface of icy water found on some of Jupiter’s moons.

Read more about the Russian project in The New York Times. Or experience Antarctica yourself aboard National Geographic Explorer.