Deep Secret

Samples from an Antarctic subglacial lake revealed live microbes dating back 100,000 years. The microbes were found when the ice sheet over Lake Hodgson was drilled to take out sediment samples. Today the lake has a thin covering of three to four metres of ice. But thousands of years ago, it was entombed under 490 metres of ice.

The sediments were deposited when the lake was sealed under the thick ice. The finding could shed light on how life survives such harsh environments around the world and possibly on other planets.


Down To Earth, October, 2013