Scientists digging into Lake Mercer, an underwater Antarctic lake closed under 3,500 feet (1 kilometer) of ice, have discovered the ancient bodies of small animals, including "water bears," in a scientist described as "utterly unexpected."
On 26 December, researchers funded by the US National Science Foundation (NFS) managed to melt a hole through the thick ice to the water below. In a report from the Nature magazine, SALSA reports that the SALSA to the Subtractive Antarctic Lakes melts through a vast frozen high-pressure hot water drill.
Water under the ice sheet is hydraulically active and connected to the sea Ross and Lake Mercer have been found to be at high risk of collapsing with the Western Antarctic ice sheet due to global warming. This is only the second time people ever see the contents of the lake, and the massive scientific operation has been conducted with technologies, including "ice penetrating radar and other remote sensing techniques," according to the article in Nature.
Main: A cut of the artist showing the drilling process to reach the lake below (public domain). The Guardian reported that the scientists had taken samples of mud from the bottom of the lake's icy waters and discovered "plant stubs or fungi and debris" (1965) from photosynthetic algae that lived and died in the area millions of years ago when Antarctica was much warmer. "Later, researchers found crustaceans like shrimp and eight feet, or" water bears ", which are described as smaller than poppy seeds. David Harwood, a microbiologist at Nebraska-Lincoln University, told Nature journalists that the discovery of the animals in the ancient lake was "completely unexpected," but what really shocks Lake Mercer biologists is the realization that some of the beasts were lands. Scientists know that these ancient creatures inhabited the Transantrant mountain lakes and streams when the glaciers retreated during the warmer periods of 10,000 years or 120,000 years. But an extraordinary problem is that these crustaceans and late inhabitants lived in lakes about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Lake Mercer and how they arrived there is still unclear.
Targids depicted using a scanning electron microscope (CC from SA 2.5)
DNA can give answers to the ancestry of the beings
At 5th January th January scientists sealed the borehole and thought it would take several years to analyze and test all assembled samples. They have to test DNA samples from shellfish corpses to determine whether they are marine or freshwater species. The SALSA team also seeks to determine the age of carbon dioxide organic material and will also consistently DNA the beings, trying to answer how, when and how far the Antarctic glaciers have flown over millennia.
In 2013, Slavec Tulacic, a scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, co-hosted a wandering expedition in Lake Wilsans, a submarine Antarctic Lake, 50 km (31 miles) from Lake Mercer. Tulactic, who has been examining samples of glacial ice lakes from the 1990s, tells the Guardian that "nothing like this has ever been found under the ice sheet." An earlier article in Nature reported that although Tupac's team found Lake Whillans overflowing with microbes, they did not see any "signs of a higher life" like the one found in Lake Mercer. The whole idea of the lakes beneath Antarctica's frosted shell was not seen until the 1990s when satellite earthquake mapping technology and the ice penetrating radar began to reveal evidence of sub-glacial lakes. Now almost 400 are known to the scientists, all fed from the base of the ice sheet, which scientists believe is a few millimeters per year. However, this is not caused by global warming, but by the warmth of the environment, which is swept deep into the planet.  Top of The Image: Antarctic Coast with Ageless Thicknesses From the Glaciers
By Ashley Cowie