Could a Discovery In Antarctica Hold The Answer To Life On Mars?
So the likelihood of scientists uncovering some shape-shifting alien life form below the Antarctic ice isn’t likely – no need to call in Kurt Russell and his blow torch just yet — but researchers are curious about a new discovery.
Located in the Lower Taylor Valley and Dry Valleys, Antarctica are glaciers where scientists have discovered a briny aquifer that could connect us to life-giving potential possibly once found on Mars. The liquid is nearly twice as salty as seawater and was found 1,000 feet below the surface during a 114 mile survey of area that connected Taylor Glacier with Lake Bonney reports Discovery news.
The scientists believe the subsurface ecosystem could be a habitable environment and offer clues to possibly once flourishing habitats on Mars where scientists believe the surface may have once been watery.
“The subsurface aquifers that we’ve been looking at in the (Antarctic) are potential analogs to understanding Mars systems,” said Nature Communications, lead researcher Jill Mikucki. “We still have a lot to learn about these dry valley aquifer systems, but they appear to be related to climate changes.”
Of course this finding of a briny liquid doesn’t mean that Mars was for certain once a water-covered planet with terrifying Martian sharks swimming around. It’s more of an indicator of what NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover should be looking for. Saturn’s moons Enceladus and Mimas, Jupiter’s moon Ganymede as well as Neptune’s moon Triton are covered in vast sheets of ice, so it’s possible that such a briny liquid could be found under those as well. For the time being though, Mars is as dry and barren as ever.