Earlier this year, it was big news that Russia was on the verge of finally reaching the subterranean Lake Vostok, deep under 11,000 feet of solid Antarctic ice. Scientists expected to find some sort of microbial life, even way down there, and the hope was that if there was microbial life in Lake Vostok, it might give us an idea of microbial life that may live in similar environments in the solar system and beyond.
But after the first water sample was analyzed, it looks like there’s not a damn thing down there. There are microbes living everywhere else on the planet, from the hottest vents coming up from the Earth’s interior to the upper atmosphere. It seemed there was nowhere that some sort of primitive life couldn’t survive and adapt. Except in Lake Vostok. So if you had hopes that microbial life might be found in the super cold watery depths of the likes of Europa… we might all be disappointed.
However, this certainly isn’t game over. Russia will continue to look for any sort of life in the lake, and it’s still good practice for visiting Titan one day.
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