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Researchers Gear Up To Dig Into 3km Ice To Reach 100K-Years Old Organisms

Researchers in the UK camp at Antarctica have been quite excited these last few days. The team was able to discover a lake deep under the ice layers and had been preparing to dig through the ice to reach that lake. The best part about this is that the lake has been isolated for the last 100,000 years.


Lake drill

Such isolation of more than 100,000 years has lent the researchers a hope that they will be able to find new types of organisms in the lake. Organisms usually evolve based on their circumstances and thus, given the special circumstances in this underground lake, they may have developed unique features.

Researchers intend to dig through the 3 kilometers of ice using high-pressure jet of heated water. The water that will be used in drilling through the ice will be heated up to 90 degrees Celsius. However, the venture is quite risky too.

After boring through the ice and reaching the lake surface, researchers will have to sterilize it with intense ultraviolet light and then collect samples from it. They will have a mere 24 hours to accomplish this before the ice starts freezing yet again.

Chris Hill is leading the team on this venture and when he was asked as to what was the riskiest part of the experiment, he said ‘everything.’ You can get a more intimate feel of the project by watching the video below:

Courtesy: Engadget

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