Lake Vostok is located in Antarctica and several news outlets are reporting that Russian scientists have successfully drilled and reached the area that’s been cut off from daylight for more than 14 million years.
Antarctica is a cold place, but this massive liquid lake known as the Vostok is buried beneath 2 miles of ice. The massive liquid object itself has been a years-long project to study its waters, which may house life forms new to science.
The news appears to have originated from Ria Novosti, a state-run news agency, which ran the following quote from an unnamed source with no affiliation: “Yesterday, our scientists stopped drilling at the depth of 3,768 meters (12,362 feet) and reached the surface of the sub-glacial lake.”
The same news report went on to discuss an old theory that Nazis built a secret base at Lake Vostok in the 1930s, and that German submarines brought Hitler and Eva Braun’s remains to Antarctica for cloning purposes following the German surrender in World War II.
“There are a lot of rumors going around about penetrating the lake, and we need the Russian program to make the official announcement,” said John Priscu, a University of Montana microbiologist and veteran Antarctic researcher who has been involved in Lake Vostok investigations for years
“If they were successful, their efforts will transform the way we do science in Antarctica and provide us with an entirely new view of what exists under the vast Antarctic ice sheet,” Priscu told OurAmazingPlanet in an email.
It appears there has been no official confirmation of the team’s success. There are no press releases on the website of Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, the government agency that oversees the country’s polar science expeditions.
Lake Vostok, about the size of Lake Ontario, is the largest lake on the icy continent. Scientists estimate the lake itself is roughly 14 million years old — the age of the ice sheet that covers it — and that the water currently in the lake is roughly 1 million years old.