Results From Antarctica's Buried Lake Vostok Are A Major Disappointment So Far

Photo: LDEO/Michael Studinger

In February, a team of Russian scientists made headlines when they reached the surface of a lake buried two miles beneath the Antarctic Ice sheet. The icy body of water, which had not been exposed to air for some 20 million years, is called Lake Vostok. 

There were nearly a dozen theories about what Lake Vostok may hold. But mainly, researchers were excited about finding new lifeforms. The microbes found in Lake Vostok could provide clues about life on Jupiter’s moon Europa since scientists believe the two entities have similar environments.

So far, no dice. 

An analysis of some water that froze in a drill bit back in February reveals no signs of life — at least not yet. This conclusion is based on “very preliminary results” announced at the 12th European Workshop on Astrobiology, reports Brian Owens of Nature News Blog

This does not mean researchers have abandoned hope. The team plans to drill to even deeper depths on their next visit in December. 

SEE ALSO: Tour The Man-Made Crater That’s Been Burning For 40 Years 

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