The Guardian reports that, “Russian scientists have confirmed they have drilled through more than 2.3 miles of ice to reach Lake Vostok, a 16,000 sq km (6,200 sq mile) body of water that has been isolated from the rest of the world for almost 15m years.
Vostok is the largest of hundreds of lakes that sit under the thick layer of ice on the Antarctic continent and Russian scientists have been drilling through the ice towards the lake for several decades.
They think the lake might be a haven for so-called “extremophiles” – bacteria and other single-celled organisms that have evolved to live in conditions in which other life forms would struggle to survive, such as darkness, or extreme temperatures, or salinity.
Examining any life forms found in the Vostok – most likely to be very simple organisms if they exist – would shed light on the evolution of life on Earth and, possibly, tell scientists about the potential for life elsewhere in our solar system.”
It will be fascinating to see what they find. My only concern is that the plan reminds me slightly of the 1982 John Carpenter horror movie, “The Thing.” I am sure this not what the scientists mean they say that they are looking for “new life-forms.”