Ancient Microbes Found in Buried Antarctic Lake
Beneath the icy surface of a buried Antarctic lake, in super-salty water devoid of light and oxygen that is also cold enough to freeze seawater, researchers have now discovered that a diverse community of bacteria has survived for millennia.
The findings, detailed online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shed light on the extreme limits at which life can live not just on Earth, but possibly alien worlds. Researchers analyzed Lake Vida, which lies encapsulated within ice at least 60 feet beneath Antarctica’s surface. Past studies revealed the brine in the lake has been isolated from the surface for at least 2,800 years.