Skip to content

Waterfall in Antarctica gives forth blood red water

By Catholic Online
8/4/2010 (7 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Phenomenon may point to ancient or alien ecologies

Blood Falls, so named for the slow trickle of blood-red water that cascades down a glacier in Antarctica is a sight to behold. The five-story waterfall pours very slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. Geologists first believed the red color came from algae, when in fact its true nature turned out to be much more significant.

The trapped lake underneath has a very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color.

The trapped lake underneath has a very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color.

Highlights

By Catholic Online
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
8/4/2010 (7 years ago)

Published in Travel


P>LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists estimate that at two million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, the microbes have remained there forever afterwards, isolated inside a natural time capsule.

Evolving independently of the rest of the world, these microbes exist in a place with no light or free oxygen and little heat -- the definition of "primordial ooze."

The trapped lake underneath has a very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the sub-glacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.

The Blood Falls ecosystem demonstrates that life is still possible in the most extreme conditions on Earth. Scientists discount whether or not the phenomenon proves life could exist on other planets with similar environments and similar bodies of frozen water -- Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa being a foremost example - as it would have to arise from a completely different chain of events.

Indeed, scientists of the NASA Astrobiology Institute speculate that these worlds could contain subglacial liquid water environments favorable to hosting elementary forms of life, which would be better protected at depth from ultraviolet and cosmic radiation than on the surface.

Even if it doesn't confirm extraterrestrial life, this planet's Blood Falls is still a wonder to behold.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.