Russian scientists finally drill through to 20 million-year-old lake
February 8, 2012
Researchers from Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) recently managed to complete a project that began more than 20 years ago. The Associated Press reports that the team finally managed to drill through miles of ice to reach a freshwater lake that has been hidden from the outside world for at least 20 million years.
"There is no other place on Earth that has been in isolation for more than 20 million years," Lev Savatyugin, one of the researchers, told the news source. "It's a meeting with the unknown."
The scientists broke though to Lake Vostok with just enough time to catch the last flight out of the area before the harsh Antarctic winter sets in. They will make the trek back when summer returns to the region to study the lake, according to Reuters. Many are hopeful that this lake will provide clues to Earth's ancient past, and that there may be ancient, microbial forms of life still thriving below the ice.