Scientists Discover The Secret Behind Antarctica’s ‘Blood Falls’



Antarctica and its Blood Falls have the topic of attention for many scientists since their discovery back in 1911, when an Australian geologist first noticed that there were deposits of a red coloration pouring out a glacier. This natural phenomenon is quite gory looking and was thought to be caused by red algae in its interior.

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This theory remained prevalent and since the falls are not very accessible, few scientists have attempted to challenge it. Now that scientists are taking the time to have a closer look, they have found the true secret for this incredible image and it just might shock you.

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Iron oxides have collected in the water and these are what’s being attributed to the coloration of the Blood Falls. There is salt water beneath this glacier that is rich in iron oxides and when the ferric oxides come into contact with the oxygen in the air, the unusual water coloration is produced.

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Scientists who have continued to research this matter have also found evidence that suggests the existence of a briny lake just beneath the glacier. Since this water has such a high level of salt content, it does not actually freeze and it causes bits of iron to be scraped off the bedrock.

This offers scientists a chance to engage in further studies in the development of life on our planet. While the freezing and briny conditions below may have seemed inhospitable to the creation of life, scientists found at least 17 different forms of microbial life dwelling in the waters.

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If you would like to see Blood Falls for yourself, you do not have to request a scientific research grant, as there are cruise ships that allow you to explore these depths for yourself. Now that you understand some of the science behind these falls, that makes them an even more interesting sight to behold.


Source: Forbes


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