Lake Vostok (East) was officially discovered by Russian scientists in the 1990s. Currently, it is the largest subglacial reservoir in Antarctica and the third largest lake by volume in the world. Vostok was covered with ice over 20 million years ago. It is surprising that its water at a temperature of -3 degrees Celsius does not freeze due to the high pressure of ice mass.
Blood Falls. Streams of blood-red color are derived from the glacier and fall into the Taylor Lake Bonnie, which is located in one of the dry valleys of McMurdo. This lake is very salty, its water rich in iron. Scientists believe that the ancient colonies of microbes are thriving in this water, since it does not penetrate nor light nor oxygen.
In 2000 members of the International Hydrographic Organization recognized Southern Ocean to be the fifth in the world. It surrounds the entire Antarctic and consists of the southern parts of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Its powerful streams play an important role in the global circulation of the water shell of the planet.
Gamburtsev’s Mountains are … under the 600-meter-thick ice in East Antarctica. The research team discovered this mountain chain in 1957 in a remote area of the continent, where the temperature drops below -80 degrees Celsius. Although the researchers were able to determine that the mountains are not volcanic, but the way they were formed is still a mystery.
Pine Island Glacier is the most of quick melting Antarctica’s glaciers. In 2015 the huge iceberg separated from it with the area of 585 square kilometers. Scientists believe that in the next few decades other large pieces may “fall off” of the ice sheet in West Antarctica. This will have a catastrophic effect on the environment. Sea levels will rise by many meters, causing flooding in coastal areas throughout the world. Pine Island plays a vital role in preventing this catastrophe, because it acts as a “stop-gap”, which restrains the ice flows.
Sand dunes. Sand is often associated with warmer climates, but Antarctica also has many sand dunes. Actually, Antarctica is considered the largest desert in the world. It’s very cold, dry and windy place, almost completely covered with ice. Dunes of Antarctica move at an alarming rate, which has tripled during last 40 years. Scientists fear that this may be due to climate change.
Lake Ellsworth. Scientists first discovered this subglacial lake in 1996 and since then it’s examined. Ellsworth is under a three-kilometer thick ice in West Antarctica. Researchers believe that it remains untouched for almost half a million years.
Antarctic fungi. Although Antarctica is completely devoid of trees, wood mushrooms thrive on the wooden huts are long abandoned by Ernest Shackleton and Robert Scott, two researchers of the continent. The huts have been empty for more than a hundred years, and it appears that some species of fungi growing on them have Antarctic origin.
Fossils. In November 2016 near the Transantarctic Mountains fossil elytra of new species of beetles have been found in the Beardmore Glacier. Beetle, which was called the Antarctic tundra beetle Boll lived 14 to 20 million years ago, when Antarctica was much warmer than today.
The volcanic Mount Erebus is located south of the rest of the active volcanoes in the world. It is located on Ross Island in Antarctica. Volcano has a height of 3800 meters and today is active enough. Mount Erebus is one of the last volcanoes on Earth, where you can find an active lava lake.