New form of life found in the depths of Antarctic ice in Russia

About the Author: Usman Zafar Paracha is the owner of SayPeople.com. He is Assistant Professor, Pharmacuetics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.

Main points: Scientists from Russia drilled the Antarctica’s frozen crust about 12,139 feet under the ice last year, took samples of water from the icy darkness of Lake Vostok – the largest subglacial lake in Antarctica – that was untouched for about 14 million years and found new forms of life as reported by the RIA news agency on Thursday.

A man stands near drilling apparatus at the Vostock research camp in Antarctica (Credit: Reuters/Alexey Ekaikin/Handout)
A man stands near drilling apparatus at the Vostock research camp in Antarctica (Credit: Reuters/Alexey Ekaikin/Handout)

Read Further: According to the scientists, this new form of life could not only tell us about the life on Earth before the Ice Age but also give us clues about the life on other planets such as Mars or Jupiter’s moon Europa.

“After excluding all known contaminants, bacterial DNA was found that does not match any known species in world databases,” Sergei Bulat of the St Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute told RIA.

“If it (the bacteria) had been found on Mars, then without a doubt we would have said there is life on Mars – but this is DNA from Earth,” he said. “We are calling this life form unidentified or unclassified.”

“When we tried to identify the DNA, it did not coincide with any of known species. It’s degree of similarity was less than 86 percent,” Bulat told RIA.

“That is practically zero when working with DNA. A level of 90 percent tells us the organism is unknown.”

Scientists are waiting for the confirmation of the results by taking more samples from the lake.

“If we again identify the same group of organism in that pure sample of water, then we can confidently say we have found new life on Earth,” Bulat said.

Sometime back researchers from U.S. Usman Zafar Paracha that they saw the living cells in the samples taken from the shallower subglacial Lake Whillans. British scientists also worked on a third body, Lake Ellsworth, but the research was called off in December because of drilling problems. In another research, scientists found bacterial species in the Lake Vida that is present in the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica.

This discovery reminds me of the statement of Stephen Hawking that aliens could be present on the other planets but we have not to disturb them. They may raid Earth.

“If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” he said.

Bringing those silent creatures to the surface, if any present in the depth, could bring problems with them.

Antarctica - Research area (BBC)

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is a sort of entrepreneur. He is the author of "Color Atlas of Statistics", and the owner of an Android game "Faily Rocket."

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