Antarctic expeditions search for life deep under the ice

Scott Sutherland
January 15, 2013

Remember the British Antarctic expedition, that ran into technical difficulties as it tried to drill down to Lake Ellsworth, deep under the Antarctic ice. Well, the story doesn't end there. Two other expeditions are attempting the same thing at two other lakes, and one of them might be reporting their results in just a matter of weeks!

These expeditions — American, Russian and British — are all trying to find life in these Antarctic lakes (which are buried under 1-3 kms of glacial ice) because finding microbes there will give us clues about where to look for life elsewhere in our solar system and out in the universe. If life can exist in this frigid environment, it might also be living at the Martian poles, or underneath the ice of Jupiter's moon Europa or Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Check out this amazing piece in the New York Times for a full description of the American and Russian efforts, and what they hope to find: