A team of British engineers is looking for alien life. No, not for the kind in flying saucers. These aliens are right here on Earth. 2 miles beneath the Antarctic Ice Plain is a hidden lake know as Lake Ellsworth. The lake is 7 miles long, a mile wide, and 500 feet deep.`
They plan to drill through the 2 miles of ice to Lake Ellsworth to explore the water beneath it. Why you ask?
According to the Head Engineer Martin Siegert,
“We expect to find microorganisms, because there’s water and where there’s water on planet Earth, there’s life.”
Siegert explained that the search for life in these lakes might be truly remarkable because the lake has been buried for thousands of years before human being even evolved. There is no light there and it is completely untouched so the organisms may have evolved in really strange way, like other life found in Antarctica.
There are more than 350 lakes that are buried in Antarctica and Siegert’s team isn’t the only one looking. The Russians have had a team drilling to get to Lake Vostok, which is about the size of Lake Ontario, for a couple of years now. They are expected to breach the lake sometime this year.
Some would question why it takes so long using such sophisticated equipment. The reason is that there is only a three month window that the teams can work through each year beginning in November. During this time the sun shines 24 hours a day and the temperatures are not so unforgiving.
During an Antarctic winter temperatures can hit 60 Degrees below zero and the snow drifts cover everything not elevated. The sun does not come out at all for the entire winter.
Do you think the quest for life in Antarctica is worth the trip?