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Mysteries of Antarctica

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posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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A new way to discover what lies beneath the ancient icecaps of Antarctica has revealed valleys...Under the Radar: Unearthing Antarctica's Surface below 10,000 Feet of Ice Surprisingly, nobody had thought to use radar to see below the 10, 000ft thick ice. They've discovered Alpine-style valleys that cover an area as large as New York State. In essence the ice hasn't changed a bit in 43million years. What's contained in that ice can tell us all about atmospheric conditions and even asteroid and meteorite impacts.



What got my imagination is what evidence of life might lie beneath the ice? 50 millions years ago, Antarctica was connected to proto-S. America and Australia. It was covered by a sub-tropical tree canopy. As it gradually split away, S. America had a wide range of critters that would have been living in the Antarctic forests. Before the 43 million years, the Antarctic would also have enjoyed the company of dinosaurs.


Polar forests were quite extensive. Fossils and even preserved remains of trees such as swamp cypress and dawn redwood from the Eocene have been found on Ellesmere Island in the Arctic. The preserved remains are not fossils, but actual pieces preserved in oxygen-poor water in the swampy forests of the time and then buried before they had the chance to decompose.


Representation of what it might have looked like

I wonder if similarly preserved critters might be found down there? Imagine the Otzi equivalent of dinosaurs? The only reasonable way of finding out would be tunneling. If the land isn't covered in ice, it's safe to guess that global warming has done for us and we all live in dinghies or breathe through our fat necks




posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 09:52 AM
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If you want people to tunnel-explore the question to ask is...

What kind of minerals might be down there?
Alaska is already well known for its gold reserves (has 39.3 million known-probable unexploited ounces) en.wikipedia.org...
At 1000 dollar an ounce this gold would be worth: $39,300,000,000

Gosh won’t Sarah Palin be pleased? I bet she can even see gold from her window!!!

And with vegetation being so well preserved I wonder if there might be any seeds we could resurrect for potential future use(s)?
A Palm tree was recently resurrected after it’s 2000 year old seeds were found!!!
www.sfgate.com.../c/a/2005/06/12/MNGJND7G5T1.DTL

So Interesting stuff. There will come a time when man has a use for extincy species (not least because C02 release is turning the climate clock back to their time).



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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reply to post by Liberal1984
 
Good points. Especially about the seeds. With pharmacorps seeking to patent genes, maybe the earliest seeds would become a valuable resource.

Just read that there's a 50 year moratorium on people exploiting oil reserves down there. Apparently there are two oil fields with an estimated 50 billion barrels (same as Alaska). Maybe the Treaty (Antarctica: Fact Sheet ) will prevent exploration when technology makes it possible.

Looks like there are new dinosaur fossils to be found also...


Working in some of the planet's harshest conditions, fossil hunters have found two completely new species of dinosaur in Antarctica. This increases to eight the number of dinosaur species found on the perpetually frozen southern landmass.
Two New Dinosaurs Discovered in Antarctica (Nat. Geographic)

When Wikipedia can be really good...it can be so poor at times too...check it..Category
inosaurs of Antarctica


[edit on 7-6-2009 by Kandinsky]



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Wonderful thread...S&F. The last pristine corner of our planet holds much information equal I'm sure to the resources locked within. I do hope the thinking inhabitants of our one and only inhabitable planet reach a degree of enlightenment before we gain the means by which to rape her.



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 11:32 AM
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I think this a fascinating topic

I put some information together on it a while ago - see link below

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

There is a lot going on there at the moment -

Fighting for rights to the land / sea bed
Trying to stop tourism to the area at the moment
Drilling in Lake Vostock
Discovery of magnetic anomolies
Shearing ice shelves
Still unsolved mysterious death



posted on Jun, 7 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by suziwong
 
Wow! Great link Suzi. I had no idea about 'sub-glacial lakes' and had a look for more info on Lake Vostock. We've got this lake that's utterly untouched by our world and how can we investigate without contaminating it? A British team has been given the go ahead to extract a sample and look at the microbial life down there.

As if it wasn't interesting enough...it's being compared to possible environments on Jupiter's moon, Europa. It links in to A Different Way to Search for Life? (ATS thread) as evidence of how life can adapt to crazily diverse environments. There's an article from the UKs Independent newspaper...The lost world beneath the Antarctic ice that explains the significance of the Antarctic.

I was imagining what ancient life we could find without considering the 'ancient life' might still be thriving in it's little niche


ATS shows me something new every week



posted on Jun, 8 2009 @ 05:33 AM
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Hey Kdinks.
Saw this today relating to your thread...I'm counting down from 5 the threads that start claiming that Atlantis will be found frozen under it.
Full article worth a read


news.ninemsn.com.au...



n a study published by the British journal Nature, they gave a snapshot of terrain that for aeons has lain hidden beneath ice up to several kilometres thick. The imaging comes from a gruelling effort by Chinese glaciologists to probe the mysterious realm beneath the East Antarctic heights, one of the most forbidding places in the world. In 2004-5 and again in 2007-8, the team hauled deep-penetrating ground radar around a box-shaped sector, measuring 30 kilometres by 30 kilometres, at a point called Dome Argus, or Dome A.

Later, these valleys were gouged and deepened by glaciers. "The landscape has probably been preserved beneath the ice sheet for around 14 million years," says the paper. The research chimes with deep-sea isotope records that give insights into how Earth got its polar caps.

Changes in Earth's orbit and the formation of the frigid current that flows around Antarctica contributed to the process of placing the continent in a deep freeze.



posted on Mar, 7 2010 @ 05:50 AM
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Wow !

This is an amazing thread !

I'm
by the lack of attention it had. Finally a down to Earth mystery and it's not getting any ??

About two weeks ago I read an article what said they were almost reaching lake Vostok just 100 meters ( 30.45 ft ) to go.

I can't find the link and I haven't seen any new one on it.

S & F Thanks.



posted on Mar, 7 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu

Yes very interesting. I think this will be a very interesting topic to keep an eye on.



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