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    Microbes Found Living Deep Under Ice In Antarctica

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Microscopic life forms are abundant in the frigid environment of Antarctica. More than 26 hundred feet below the surface of the ice in Lake Whillans, scientists have recently discovered four thousand different species of living microbes that are involved in a complex ecosystem.

    Microscopic life forms are abundant in the frigid environment of Antarctica.

    More than 26 hundred feet below the surface of the ice in Lake Whillans, scientists have recently discovered four thousand different species of living microbes that are involved in a complex ecosystem.

    These are the first organisms to ever be taken from one of the almost 400 subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

    Known as chemoautotrophs, these living things survive off of the minerals dissolved in the water, and can live without sunlight or other organisms for food.

    Scientists working on the study had to be sure that the samples were uncontaminated, so they blasted hot water that had been treated by their high-tech water purification system into the ice.

    Martyn Tranter, a glaciologist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study is quoted as saying: “This is a landmark paper for the polar sciences. This paper is bound to stimulate further calls for subglacial lake research.”

    Data from the discovery might also help scientists understand how life might exist in the harsh environments on unexplored ice covered moons in our solar system.