Tags: EU | Russia | Antarctic | Lake
Image: Russian Scientists Find Lake Way Down Under Antarctica
Russian researchers at the Vostok station in Antarctica pose for a picture after reaching the subglacial lake Vostok. In the photo, provided by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of St. Petersburg, scientists hold a sign reading "05.02.12, Vostok station, boreshaft 5gr, lake at depth 3769.3 meters." (AP Photo/Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Press Service)

Russian Scientists Find Lake Way Down Under Antarctica

Wednesday, 08 Feb 2012 08:44 AM

Russian researchers say they have reached Antarctica's largest icebound freshwater lake hidden for millions of years under miles of ice.

Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute said in Wednesday's statement that its team reached Lake Vostok on Sunday after more than two decades of drilling.

The discovery has been avidly anticipated by scientists around the world, who hope that the lake, comparable in area to Lake Ontario, may contain microbial life and provide a clue in the search for life on other planets in similar conditions.

The project has drawn fears that lubricants and antifreeze used in the drilling may contaminate the pristine lake. Russian researchers have argued that the water from the lake would rush up the borehole driven by a jump in pressure, safely sealing pollutants.


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