The mystery of the flowing Blood Falls that were found at Taylor Glaciers, Antarctica, 160-years ago has been solved.
Australian geologist Griffith Taylor discovered what are known as the Blood Falls, a river of vivid red flowing into the icy Lake Bonney, Antarctica, in 1911.
Back then it was thought that the color was caused by red algae, but in 2003 that theory changed. It became believed that the gruesome color came from oxidized iron and water that was flowing from a 5 million-year-old saltwater lake.
— The Life Pile (@thelifepile) December 28, 2017
Today however, scientists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College are sure that not only is there a lake underneath the glacier, but also a water system that has been live for more than a million years.
With help of echolocation, the researchers were able to track the water flow. They found that the reason it hasn’t frozen over after all these years is that heat energy released by freezing water melts the surrounding ice.
With ancient ice continuously melting and flowing out of the Blood Falls, scientists can study a whole range of microbes without having to drill into the ice caps.