The Blood Course- Antarctica


Although we have seen many kinds of water channels. But ever heard of a blood stream? Yes . There is a place in Antarctica where the blood like liquid flows from the glaciers. The blood stream actually originates from Taylor Glaciers. The scientists initially thought that it was due to some algae discoloring the water source. But after the research done by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, it got concluded that the red color is  nothing but is the oxidized iron in brine saltwater.

When the brine water comes in contact with oxygen, the iron oxidizes and brings out the red color in the stream. Due to the iron present in the underlying bedrock of Taylor Glacier, and under extreme pressure, it tries to level towards low pressure and in result gets injected towards the glacier through fissures. Due to the presence of salt concentrated by crystallization Taylor Glacier is not frozen. There are microbes present under the glaciers which gets energy by breaking apart sulfates and then the iron reacts with them to restore them and this recycling process goes on. We can say that it’s a magical phenomenon but scientists have explained all their views on it and its no more a mystery. Still it can be considered  as one of the unusual things around the world. The fluid or liquid flowing from the glaciers pours into the Lake Bonney in the southern most of the three dry valleys. The bacteria which resides in it persist without photosynthesis. It uses organic or inorganic carbon for growth. Well the most fascinating thing about this falls is that , it has never been exposed to sunlight, has high salinity. It consists high amount of chloride and sulfate. It has very low temperature. It also shows that Earth can survive in extreme conditions and life can still exist. According to the speculations of NASA Astrobiology, the sub-glacial liquid water environments can be made favorable to host elementary forms of life which are protected from ultraviolet and cosmic radiations which effects the surface.  So this place is an excellent opportunity to study subsurface microbial life in extreme conditions as it will also lead to unlock the chances of finding living environment in places like Mars and Europa.


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