LONDON - The new study was published on Nov. 17 in 'Frontiers'. Researchers say they've discovered a living world beneath the ice in Antarctica that may span 5 million square kilometers.
Climate change is currently posing a massive risk to the ice shelves down in Antarctica, which has only fueled research in the area to increase more and more, and for good reason. Now, a group of scientists working in the southernmost region of our planet has discovered something massive living under Antarctica.
According to a study published in Frontiers in Marine Science, researchers have discovered a massive living world below Antarctica’s icy surface that could be as big as 5 million square kilometers. This continent is often thought of as having a hostile climate and has been ground zero for the changes that rising global temperatures bring.
For decades, scientists have studied the photosynthetic algae that forms around Antarctica in the summer months, believing that it only emerges when the ice has melted, giving way for sunlight to reach the algae. Now, though, it appears that something massive may be living under Antarctica even when the ice isn’t melted.
The research suggests that there could still be a massive amount of these algae living permanently underneath the ice that covers the continent. Essentially, that would put a massive world living under the Antarctic ice, which is insane to think about considering how hostile we believe that area of the world to be because of its low, freezing temperatures.
For decades, scientists have believed that nothing could live under the frozen surface of Antarctica. As such, the possibility of this discovery challenges everything we know about that region of our world. And, with more research, we could discover even more living under Antarctica.
Seals, penguins, and other animals acclimated to that region still survive here, but the fact that other life might is quite impressive, especially when you consider how often algae and plankton rely on the energy from the Sun to thrive. The current belief is that holes in the icy southern ocean could give the algae enough sunlight to power through the colder months of the year.