Blood Falls seeps from the end of the Taylor Glacier into Lake Bonney. The tent at left provides a sense of scale for just how big the phenomenon is. Scientists believe a buried saltwater reservoir is partly responsible for the discoloration, which is a form of reduced iron.
Photograph by Peter Rejcek/United States Antarctic Program

 

 

 

Taylor Glacier in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys features Blood Falls.

Researchers first thought the red color came from algae. Later work unveiled that the glacier is a natural time capsule, containing an ancient community of microbes.

 

 

The existence of the Blood Falls ecosystem shows that life can exist in the highly extreme conditions here on Earth – but perhaps elsewhere in the form of extraterrestrial life.

Moon of Jupiter, Europa, is about 90 percent the size of Earth’s Moon. Perhaps Europa is a promising place in our solar system to find present-day environments suitable for some form of life beyond Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go to this intriguing story in Atlas Obscrua: “Blood Falls Antarctica -Natural time capsule containing an alien ecosystem” at:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/blood-falls

Also, go to this  paper “MICROBIAL LIFE IN BLOOD FALLS: AN ANCIENT ANTARCTIC ECOSYSTEM” at:

https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/earlymars2004/pdf/8023.pdf

As well as this Arizona State University press release “Unlikely life thriving at Antarctica’s Blood Falls” at: 

https://news.asu.edu/content/unlikely-life-thriving-antarctica%E2%80%99s-blood-falls

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