Antarctica is a mysterious frozen continent that is almost 1.5 times bigger than the United States of America but almost 99 percent of Antarctica is covered by ice. According to Matthew Davies, Antarctica contains 90 percent of the earth’s ice and it is not a suitable place to live. Also, it has a lot of secrets that are yet to be discovered.
Here are some mysterious discoveries found frozen in Antarctica:
- Underneath mountain lakes – In Antarctica, there are many things that are hidden under the thick layer of ice and one such mysterious discovery is underground lakes. The first underground lake was found in the year 1970 with the help of echo sounding which is almost similar to radar that is used for locating aircraft. According to scientists, there are about 400 such lakes and they guessed that each lake could be 3 Km long.
- Underneath methane – Methane is a greenhouse gas and this kind of gas is worse than carbon dioxide. Scientists have found a huge amount of frozen methane hidden under the ice of Antarctica. If the glaciers continue to recede in the same manner as it has been doing from the last few decades, then it may lead to an explosion such as a methane bomb which can be very harmful for the well-being of mankind.
- The giant hole above the ground – In the year 2017, a huge hole opened in the ice of Antarctica which is larger than the Netherlands. There are several such holes in Antarctica and these holes are commonly named polynyas. However, the hole that opened in 2018, was the first to be opened in 40 years is the biggest one since the 1970s.
- Dangerous bacteria – Another mysterious thing that was found in Antarctica are the microbes underneath the ice. These microbes are bacteria and according to researchers, these bacteria that have been found in the ice of Antarctica date back to 420,000 years. But researchers are still not sure whether the bacteria found underneath the ice of Antarctica are functional or not. Scientists are also not sure whether the ice acts as a preservative that makes the bacteria intact until the ice melts.
- Underneath oil – Researchers have also found that there is oil in Antarctica but it is very dangerous to extract. That is the reason why the Madrid protocol was signed in the year 1991 to make sure that no commercial mining could be allowed in Antarctica until 2048.
The weather of Antarctica, the quantity of ice, and the distance of industrial areas make the extraction of oil in Antarctica very expensive and dangerous as well. So, no industrialist will be encouraged to extract the oil from Antarctica and there is less chance of breaking the initial International agreement due to greed or ignorance.
According to Matthew Davies, there might be a lot of mysteries that are yet to be discovered in this frozen continent. All we can hope for is that these discoveries won’t harm mankind in any way.