We’ve reported on Antarctica’s Taylor Glacier before. Better known as ‘Blood Falls,’ it’s an awe-inspiring, bone-chilling sight as a deep red, five-storey waterfall steadily seeps through cracks in the glacier’s facade. The eerie natural phenomena, located in the McMurdo Dry Valley, was first discovered by explorers in 1911, and it’s long been known that the water gains its distinctive hue from excess levels of brine. Now, a team of scientists led by Jill Mikucki, a microbiologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have used electromagnetic sensors to track the subglacial briny waters that lie beneath one of the most arid places on earth. They found that on the Taylor Glacier, these waters stretch back at least three miles, and contain twice as much salt as seawater. Not only does this indicate that Blood Falls may be part of a much larger subglacial network of groundwater, but—with a climate that is considered the closest on Earth to Mars—some are hypothesizing that similar briny waters may exist beneath the surface of the red planet.
Via Live Science
Image via Peter Rejcek, National Science Foundation