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Drill Close to Reaching 14-Million-Year-Old Antarctic Lake

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posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 02:45 PM

Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit.

Antarctica with the location of Lake Vostok circled in red.

The lake, which lies 2.5 miles below the icy surface of Antarctica, is unique in that it’s been completely isolated from the other 150 subglacial lakes on the continent for such a long time. It’s also oligotropic, meaning that it’s supersaturated with oxygen — levels of the element are 50 times higher than those found in most typical freshwater lakes.

Since 1990, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St Petersberg in Russia has been drilling through the ice to reach the lake, but fears of contamination of the ecosystem in the lake have stopped the process multiple times, most notably in 1998 when the drills were turned off for almost eight years.

Now, the team has satisfied the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, which safeguards the continent’s environment, that it’s come up with a technique to sample the lake without contaminating it. Valery Lukin told New Scientist: “Once the lake is reached, the water pressure will push the working body and the drilling fluid upwards in the borehole, and then freeze again.” The next season, the team will bore into that frozen water to recover a sample whose contents can then be analysed. [anything living in the lake will be at least 14 million years old, so it could offer a snapshot of conditions on Earth long before humans evolved.


Absolutely fascinating. Lucky Russians. I wonder if USA has anyone on that mission?

Sounds to me like a movie script. Add an alien space craft & some blood and... wait I think that has been done.

I sure would love to see what is there. I bet you a whole new underwater world.

Looking up more info in the future on this project.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 02:49 PM
This sounds fascinating, imagine what they could find. Its a damn shame we will have to wait so long for the results - and that's as long as something isn't found that they do not want to know about (just saying)

Thanks for the info buddy, will be keeping an eye on this one.

I just hope we don't have another GOM incident of some sort in the process:

edit on 7-1-2011 by StarTraveller because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 02:52 PM
Yes, it is fascinating. I'd be interested in their findings. I was watching a documentary last night and earth has had six extinction events and the last one was 65 million years ago, if that's accurate.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 02:53 PM
reply to post by anon72

Does any one have the picture of the ancient sign date

Of 14,000,000 B.C. wow that would be just so kool.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 02:53 PM
I have a bad feeling. This is just the way that movie "The Thing" started, and before anybody knew it, people were turning into horrible monsters. Oh, well. I've had a good run.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 02:53 PM
Fascinating and foolish at the same time, you don't know what unknowns could be down there, something that could even make humanity extinct! Yes may sound stupid but you really dont know.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:02 PM
just to prove my point...

However, the most intriguing news coming out of Antarctica had to do with the extremely powerful “magnetic anomaly” located in the northern end of the lake’s coast: a discovery which would give rise to a number of conjectures and would be compared with the fictional TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-1) in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The electronic newspaper Antarctic Sun (, which soon became the main source of information on the Lake Vostok magnetic anomaly, stated that during the initial flight of the SOAR (Support Office for Aerophysical Research), aimed at conducting magnetic resonance imaging over the area, the magnetometer recorded an increase of 1,000 nanoteslas beyond the 60,000 nanoteslas which characterized the Vostok Station.

Scientists had expected to find magnetic anomalies in the range of 500 to 600 nanoteslas in areas where volcanic material could be located, but the ranges encountered were simply startling.

“This anomaly is so large that it cannot be the product of a daily change in the magnetic field,” stated Michael Studinger, one of the researchers involved in the mapping endeavor.

Also significant was the sheer size of the anomaly: 65 by 46 square miles. According to the mission’s geological team, the anomaly’s size and severity pointed to the fact that geological changes had taken place under the lake, suggesting the possibility that it was a place where “the earth’s crust was thinner.”

Australian geologist Harry Mason summarized the subject thus: “The magnetic anomaly’s sheer size and intensity suggest the presence of a large ultrabase component under this section of Lake Vostok at the surface of the continental crust rock, in other words, on the old surface prior to the ice formation.”

Using much less technical language, others noted that Mason’s explanation matched the hypothesis suggested by Prof. Thomas Gold in Australia’s Nexus magazine. According to Professor Gold, the amount of methane and exotic gases such as xenon and argon could represent a direct threat to global climate, since they would come directly from the Earth’s mantle using the geological features under Lake Vostok as “chimneys.”

Aside from the danger this could represent for our planet’s embattled atmosphere, the teams of scientists and technicians in charge of drilling through the methane dome would be in the first line of danger, since such an operation would likely result in a catastrophic explosion.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:11 PM
I have a really bad feeling about this,

What if the execution of this delicate operation is wonkily approached half arsed Chernobyl style and they make a mighty balls up?

Do they know what life is in there?

There could be all sorts of exotic diseases waiting to go on holiday up the borehole and onto the surface?

I am going to dust off my gas mask just in case.

Have they seen Quatermass and The Pit?

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:12 PM
reply to post by Blue Shift

Nice, Zombieland here we come, "nut up or shut up". Interesting post though, it does sound a bit like a stargate episode and an X files movie I have seen.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:28 PM
reply to post by Onet Wosix

There could be Twinkies too, it doesn't always have to be evil, and name just one time a world government has ever messed up an enviroment for selfish reasons.

You make a lot of sense, it's to bad it's not that common anymore, drill first worry about man eating viruses later.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:35 PM
They're gonna awaken Adam and cause the second impact!!!

Evas would be cool to see though.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:37 PM
this is incredibly interesting!

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 03:47 PM
reply to post by anon72

Theres going to be a massive discovery thats earth changing here.

something seems to be delicate and important enough to wait for. Must be very important. 8 Yrs? What was the event that took place that caused an 8 yr wait?

As for the 50 times higher oxygen levels reminds me of the film The Abbys when theyre breathing oxygenated water.The cube? Wasnt there a tale of a cube that was of massive importance and could create life or was a key? I cant wait to see whats discovered, what ever it is im sure this will be mentioned straight away in media.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 04:05 PM
The Russians were pioneers in Remote Viewing - I wonder if they have a team there right now?

I sincerely hope that this does not go pear shaped when they break through.

I still have a bad feeling about this, its like that movie War Of The Worlds and we are the invaders that will be defeated by the bacteria of their world.

Someone send them a giant cork straightaway please

edit on 7-1-2011 by Onet Wosix because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 04:13 PM
Here is an interesting series for everyone to watch...


posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 06:42 PM
reply to post by EricLintScD

Great posting/vids.

Good work.

Thank you. Watching them now.

Star- (flag if I could)

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 07:01 PM
...yep, lake vostok is a very interesting subject... there are quite a few previous threads about it that you can access via ats search... of course, theres always room for more thread about it... for the drilling, from what i understand, its being done in an incapsulated fashion so that no contamination from one area passes to the other... so, no worries about a bacteria getting out and killing off the human species or a monster getting out and eating us...

...about the methane dome, well, gosh, i lived with one for a while... you never know what'll set em off or how hard they'll blow...

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by anon72

Extremely fascinating, but as we all know if they did find something then they are not likely to share it with the world, are they?
The Russians are notorious for their secrecy, expect this story to disappear as have many other discoveries in the past.
I hope I am wrong, but past events have led me to believe I am not.
Please update this post with any new information . I will be watching with baited breath.
Take care

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 07:26 PM
I don't think they are going to release any apocolyptic threats. Even without all the zombie, alien, mass extinction hoopla this is a very intriguing story and I will be following it as news comes available.

posted on Jan, 7 2011 @ 07:27 PM
reply to post by EricLintScD

Fascinating videos and I especially suggest everyone watch the final one where the design of the probe and its journey through the ice and into Vostok is detailed. It reminded me of an interplanetary NASA mission.

Can't wait to hear and see the results.

Great topic.

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