Saturday, November 21, 2009

The World Beneath Their Feet

Many people remember the movies about hidden worlds beneath our feet, such as Journey To The Center of the Earth. As it turns out, there is a world underneath the feet of the many people wearing warm boots while doing their research in Antarctica.

They have found a world that no one expected, a world that has caused lots of textbooks to be recycled, rewritten, or worse.

It is a world where liquid water, beneath an always subzero ice shelf miles deep, makes up some 70 lakes.

One lake is the size of Lake Ontario of the Great Lakes between the United States and Canada.

They have found a world of mountain ranges, valleys, rivers, plus they found ancient life in the form of microbes and the like. The finding is not yet over:

Currently the drilling works are interrupted because of the huge risk of contamination by further drilling the way it has been done. No matter what mysteries the lake keeps in itself, today the scientists are concerned with the question on how can researchers study a place so unique and delicate without contaminating or, even worse, destroying it? All possible alternative to drilling methods are being examined, all possible methods for studies and researches are still going on.

(United Nations). Perhaps the bigger picture is the impact on future space exploration this find may have.

Many scientists think that one of the moons of Jupiter, Europa, and one of the moons of Saturn, Enceladus, may have an ocean under their ice layered surfaces.

Thus, the information to come from these discoveries may eventually help to establish an outpost in our solar system, on one of those moons that seem to be like Antarctica, where there is plenty of water deep underneath the ice covered surface.

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