Lake Whillans: Extremophiles Discovered In Frozen Antarctic Lake – Alien Life Can Exist

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‘Alien’ life can exist and has actually been found… in Lake Whillans, a frozen Antarctic lake that hasn’t seen sunlight for millions of years!

More than 26 hundred feet below the surface of the ice in Lake Whillans, Antarctica, scientists have recently discovered four thousand different species of living microbes that are involved in a complex ecosystem.

Lake Whillan lies beneath 2,625 feet (800 meters) of ice in West Antarctica. It is connected to other lakes by rivers, streams (and underground tunnels?).

Scientists at Montana State University, the University of Tennessee and other institutions found out that Lake Whillans is full of ‘alien’ life as evidenced by the 3,931 species of single-celled life discovered in ice samples.

These are the first organisms to have ever been taken from one of the almost 400 subglacial lakes in Antarctica.

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Life was discovered in subglacial Lake Whillans in Antarctica. Lake Whillans is a subglacial expanse of water measuring about 1.2 square miles (3 square kilometers) and hidden deep beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Photo: NSF

Known as chemoautotrophs, these living things survive off of the minerals dissolved in the water, and can live without sunlight or other organisms for food.

To collect uncontaminated samples, scientists blasted hot but purified water into the ice.

Martyn Tranter, a glaciologist at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the study is quoted as saying: “This is a landmark paper for the polar sciences. This Nature paper is bound to stimulate further calls for subglacial lake research.”

And yes this discovery proves that Alien life can exist! The findings at Lake Whillans (Wissard) provide a unique glimpse into how life may survive on other planets, such as within Mars’ ice cap or beneath the icy exterior of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Yes, I really think this does strengthen the case for finding alien life on icy bodies.

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