Scientists Amazed By Hidden World Under the Ice

Scientists Amazed By Hidden World Under the Ice


What if we told you another world exists in
this world, and that place scientists have only just discovered. The great David Attenborough has called this
one of our planet’s great secrets, a place teeming with life; strange creatures exist
there that have captivated researchers. But where is this mysterious new world? What is going on there? Let us explain. We are going to take you to one of the most
hostile places on the planet, a place we know as Antarctica. It’s not generally a place we visit due
to the extreme temperatures and the fact that there’s not that much going on there. The area is twice the size of Australia, with
the actual size being 5,500,000 square miles (14,200,000 square kilometers). Antarctica is a hard place to call home, seeing
that it’s the coldest, driest and windiest place on Earth. It’s also just about all covered with ice,
or about 98% of the landmass. Believe it or not, that ice might be 1.2 miles
(1.9 km) thick in certain areas. Just try and imagine an ice block that large. Due to this kind of unforgiving environment,
Antarctica has no indigenous population. No one knew much about this place at all until
explorers started going there in the 19th century. Since then and still today thousands of scientists
around the year make the continent their home, living in research stations. This is hardly a luxurious life, but then
we the public are learning a lot about this great continent of ice. For years we saw moving images of whales in
the water, penguins scurrying and slipping on the ice, but what we didn’t see was the
world under that thick ice. It’s here where another world exists. Well, two worlds really, one is the ancient
world in subglacial lakes and another is the ocean under the giant pieces of floating ice. This is how Mr. Attenborough put it when he
saw life under the ice: “It may be hostile above the ice, but below
it couldn’t be more different, conditions are so stable that life over millennia has
had time to diversify. Creatures here grow to a great size; these
predator worms are three meters in size.” Yep, imagine coming across a three meter-long
worm. The more we explore down there, the more extreme
animals we see. That’s not it, though, and researchers are
just beginning to understand this new world. It’s not just about animals, though. Last year scientists working with the Commonwealth
Scientific and Industrial Research Organization drilled down into the ice to measure something
called hydroxyl. This is what the lead researcher said about
that stuff: “Hydroxyl (OH) is a naturally occurring,
highly reactive molecule that plays an important role in the atmosphere as a ‘natural air purifier’,
by destroying greenhouse gases like methane and industrial chemicals that deplete ozone.” Perhaps this stuff can be used to help clean
up the environment above. That’s what they hope anyway. Back to life down there, one researcher simply
called underneath the ice a weird bit of ocean. He said by looking deep down we might know
more about our past. He said, “It’s very different to basically
anywhere else in the planet.” There is ocean underground, but there are
also something called subglacial lakes. These exist way under the ice, in a kind of
separate world from ours. Some people have called these places underworlds,
new worlds. One person put it like this: “We think we
know a lot about the Earth, and then things like this happens and you think, “oh my gosh,
I gotta rewrite everything.” These subglacial lakes hold secrets that have
been hidden from mankind for millions of years. What has gone on down there has stayed down
there, but now with better drilling technologies we are starting to see more. By drilling into these thick sheets of ice
the experts tell us we might better learn to breach the subglacial lakes in other worlds,
such as on Jupiter’s moon Europa. There’s also one on Mars, well, one we have
found. There might be more. We’ve seen the inventory for Antarctica
subglacial lakes and it’s long, so while we are getting better at drilling these things
are nothing new. The first of them was observed in 1969 and
we’ve been looking into these places since, finding life in the form of microorganisms
that have for all intents and purposes not been part of our world for a long, long time. This is how one scientist described these
lakes: “Over 400 lakes exist beneath the Antarctic
ice sheet. They range from giant stable lakes at the
center of the ice sheet, isolated from the atmosphere for millions of years, to small
through-flow pockets of water beneath fast-flowing ice streams.” One of the largest of these lakes, called
dark, deep and mysterious by some, is called Lake Vostok. This lake has been covered with ice for a
pretty long time…err…15 million years to be almost exact. Located in East Antarctica it is 143 miles
(230 km) long, 31 miles (50 km) wide and as much as 2,625 feet (800 meters) deep. So, what’s down there? Well, this is why David Attenborough keeps
talking about secrets, because the folks that study this place admit it’s a mystery and
there are things we’ve never seen before for sure. We are talking life forms that could tell
us a lot about the process of evolution. It’s said an ecosystem survived down there
when previously we thought that not possible. These microorganisms have survived without
sunlight or energy for millions of years and scientists are amazed. “There’s a thriving ecosystem down there,”
said one scientist. “It’s the first time that we’ve got a real
insight into what organisms might live beneath the Antarctic continent.” We should say again that this is somewhat
different from the places where you might find three meter worms. Scientists are indeed making discoveries like
that, but this is when they are drilling through thinner sheets of ice and look for life. National Geographic took some pretty amazing
photos of this under ice world. To get those shots divers went deeper under
the ice than had ever been done before, and that’s why they got the money shots. They introduced us to this new world in all
its splendor. So while this world isn’t like the subglacial
world in that the lifeforms are known to us, it’s still pretty special. Here’s a snippet from the National Geographic
article: “Farther down, we meet giant sea stars:
At 15 inches in diameter, they’re much bigger than those in warmer seas. Then come the giant sea spiders. They’re arthropods, like insects and spiders
on land, and they’re found in all the world’s oceans, but in warmer waters they’re rare
and tiny, nearly invisible to the naked eye. Here, as in the Arctic, the sea spiders can
span a foot or more.” But there was more. Colorful plants that cover the seafloor, giant
beetles, those massive worms, and just plain weirdness. In the words of the writer, “Extreme conditions
beget extreme animals.” Would you be up for some extreme animal watching
under the ice? Tell us in the comments. And go watch “Scientists Find Best Evidence
That The Loch Ness Monster Actually Exists” Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

100 Replies to “Scientists Amazed By Hidden World Under the Ice”

  1. If you are shocked by something then you never had much of an imagination, to begin with. Anything is possible, anything.

  2. Infographic show person…If every person on the planet drank the ocean constantly, how long would it take for them to drink the entire ocean

  3. What if we told you there was a world inside our world where our world's world was tucked sideways into another world and we exist within that world online.

  4. This is the best video so far there’s so much information and this video and the others are great and there’s so much to be learned

  5. Don't worry, humans are trying to make it less hostile, by turning it into water, we can sail right through it after global warming has done its job

  6. It makes sense. Also a couple years ago I read about how a satellite with ground reading lasers discovered under the ice a valley that was the size of the Grand Canyon. There was theories that maybe it's not even filled with water, just surround by thick walls of ice like a snow globe. But I never saw anything else related to that anymore /:

  7. Any one have links to the images shown from 5:13 – 5:33? I saw the pastebin link, but you have to be subscribed to Nat Geo to see the articles and photos, even though it says that I have 3 articles that I can look at for free. Can anyone get the images and send me a link to them on imgur or something? I really want to see these photos and Google hasn't been helpful at all…

  8. OOooooooo giant worms. Water beneath something else, arrogant scientists who've been fooled by nature once again. OOooooOOOOoooo.

  9. I think I speak for all when I say that I want to see another video going more in depth about the creatures scientists have found under the ice.

  10. There's also blooms of small, red arthropods that rise to the surface and descend each day.

    1:03 – B-b-b-but the NASA ice-wall blockaaaaaaaaaade. (Jokes aside, flat-Earthers can't make up their minds; is Antarctica an ice-wall around the whole Earth or is it a single place surrounded by NASA blockade? ?)

  11. Humanity: hey, cool! An untouched, perfectly preserved part of nature that humans haven't ruined yet!

    Also humanity: GET THE DRILLS

  12. 0:55 "Due to this kind of unforgiving environment, Antarctica has no indigenous population." While showing penguins. Um. EXCUSE YOU!

  13. This is the greatest thing since The American Expansion! It's cool to see there's gonna be so many new mobs!

  14. What really makes me happy in this video is there's actually a natural gas we could possibly use to fight greenhouse gases. 😀

  15. There should be no apes at all if we humans evolved from apes.
    You need an ape to create another ape. And you need a human to create a human.

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