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They’ve cracked it – again! A Russian team of ice explorers has broken through to a lake buried beneath nearly 4 kilometres of Antarctic ice. The lake has been isolated from the surface for 15 million years and could hold extreme forms of life never seen before, perhaps even offering clues as to what life on other planets might look like.
Lake Vostok is Antarctica’s largest subglacial lake. It was reached once before in 2012, when a Russian team finished drilling a hole some 3770 metres down to its surface. They claimed that water samples they obtained from this borehole contained DNA that was unlike known bacteria, suggesting they may have found an unusual native species. But the find is controversial, not least because the samples were.