Lake Vostok: The Antarctic’s 15-million-year-old time capsule
After 20 years of drilling, Russian scientists finally reach an ancient lake buried underneath 2 miles of ice. What will they find there?
After more than 20 years of drilling, Russian scientists have finally opened a vertical channel to Lake Vostok, an ancient freshwater lake sealed for at least 15 million years under more than two miles of polar ice. You read that right. Drilling began in 1989 — before scientists could even confirm the 160-mile-long lake’s existence — and finally, Wednesday the team reached the slushy layer of ice above the long-sealed lake. (This sounds an awful lot like the plot of John Carpenter’s The Thing.) Here’s what you should know about one of Earth’s best-preserved time capsules:
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