Mittwoch, 15. April 2009

IT came from the ice !!!

A bacterial lost world trapped beneath Antarctic ice may help explain how life persisted during the "snowball Earth" period when almost all of the globe's surface was frozen over.

Isolated for at least 1.5 million years from close relatives that live in the ocean, the Antarctic microbes live in a super-salty lake sealed with a 400-metre slab of ice, called Taylor Glacier. But each summer, the temperature warms enough for a trickle of extremely cold water to flow to the surface.

Antarctic explorers and scientists noted the deep red colour left by these flows, created by iron in the water, and called them "blood falls".

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