It is almost over two centuries now since the discovery of Antarctica and due to modern science and technology, more light can now be shed about it, especially in understanding the composition of life that exists beneath the snow. To the ordinary man, what the majority see or know about the area is nothing but miles upon miles of snow and ice, but if the snow could just melt or dry up for some reason, you would be amazed at the kind of things that would be discovered beneath it. Here are some of the things believed to be buried deep in the Antarctica.
Well, you read that right. One of the mysteries now believed to be in Antarctica is a secret Nazi base that of course, is no longer in operation. During the 1930s it is said that the Germans were interested in exploring the region, with the main purpose of whaling, but there were strong reasons to believe that they also had military objectives as well. When the First World War broke out, all countries, especially German were too preoccupied with the war that they shelved their exploration missions of Antarctica. However, rumors had it that when the war came to an end, the Nazi leader didn’t commit suicide, but instead took a submarine into Antarctica. Many years after the war, however, there is no concrete evidence to show that this was the case.
If you thought that plants can only exist on the surface of the earth where there are natural sunlight and other conditions favoring their growth, then you will be surprised to know that plants are actually found in Antarctica. The plant population and the plant species in this place are not large, but it is the home to some over 100 species of plants, with most of them being moss and lichens since these are the only kinds of plant types that can thrive under such low temperatures. You will find most of them growing in the cracks between the rocks. The common types of lichens and moss you will find thriving most in this region are mainly the red and green varieties since they show a better adaptation to these conditions than any other kind available.
There is every reason to think that there is no way Antarctica can have active volcanoes, but you will be surprised to learn that beneath the dense ice, there are actually active volcanoes. The presence of the volcanoes was discovered by a scientist who was studying earthquake activities in the region after the eruption of Mount Erebus. The depth of the earthquake indicated to the scientists that there could be the presence of active volcanoes in the region, and it is now a great concern to just what might really happen in the event that an eruption actually happens in Antarctica. You should be advised that the region holds very vital infrastructure for space and earth explorations and all these could be no more should there be a relatively strong volcano in the region.
When scientist drilled a hole through the ice, they discovered the presence of a see-through fish in Antarctica. This is probably not sufficient enough for you to get passport renewal for a trip to Antarctica, but it is one of the things you will find buried deep in the ice. The fish discovered in this region had the ability to adapt so that they can survive under such extreme temperatures which would in most cases cause their body fluids to freeze. The fish had a transparent body, and this is probably because they don’t have any hemoglobin since they probably don’t need it to survive beneath the ice.
It is believed that Antarctica holds about 200 billion of oil under the ice. But as expected, it is a tall order to reach and extract this oil owing to the harsh conditions around, and with an active international treaty designating Antarctica as a scientific preserve, exploration could still be in the distant horizon since as such, there is no mining activity is allowed in the area. The treaty is due for renewal in 2048, and perhaps it might as well change and allow for the extraction of the oil beneath the ice.
As is always the case, where you find oil, there will also be higher chances of finding methane, and this is one other mystery you find buried deep in Antarctica. It is believed that there is a huge amount of microbial activity taking place beneath the ice and this lead to the generation of a lot of methane. It is still not possible to get the methane out, but perhaps when the ice melts due to global warming, the methane could finally find its way to the surface. This may not be a very good thing to the region.
Mountains is another mystery you will find buried deep in Antarctica. Scientist discovered the Gamburtseve Mountain ranges which stretch for about 750 miles and has peaked with some rising to as high as 9,000 feet. This was a completely unexpected discovery and it still remains a mystery up to date. It is believed that the mountains came into existence when Antarctica broke from the Gondwanaland millions of years ago.
If Antarctica was like most of the ordinary tourist attractions, then millions would be going for passport renewal services every year to come and explore the hundreds of hidden lakes beneath the ice. It is believed that the region is the home to over 400 lakes and scientist believe that the number could easily double since there is a huge chunk of the region that is yet to be surveyed and explored. The presence of the lakes was first discovered in the 1970s through the use of echo-sounding technology which works in the same way as radars used for finding planes in the sky. In 1996, a lake, possibly the same size as Lake Ontario was found to be lying just beneath Russia’s Vostok Station.