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Antarctic glacier with five-storey blood-red waterfall





deanhills
I thought this phenomenon was really interesting. An Antarctic glacier with a blood-red waterfall. Apparently the red colour is due to an ancient community of microbes:

Quote:
Roughly 2 million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist without heat, light, or oxygen, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze." The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.

Source: Good Blog 24-Feb-2010
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

Quote:
these microbes exist without heat, light, or oxygen, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze."


Without heat or light... Where do they get the energy to survive? Differently evolved as they may be, they still need some energy source in order to live.

I suppose they haven't gotten around to studying the microbes much?
Voodoocat
They are probably chemolithotrophs: organisms that use inorganic rather than organic material for biosynthesis and energy. More specifically, these organisms are most likely iron bacteria:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_bacteria

I hope that someone has gathered samples to archive and study; studying the genes of these bacteria might provide some amazing insights into genetic evolution.
amperx
wow now that is a good find, imagine scientist studying it, and you can only imagine the findings, like a cure, or a medicine or anti viral formula, Oo
ocalhoun
amperx wrote:
you can only imagine the findings, like a cure, or a medicine or anti viral formula, Oo

Or a virus that starts a zombie apocalypse... it could go either way, really. ^.^
BigGeek
ocalhoun wrote:
amperx wrote:
you can only imagine the findings, like a cure, or a medicine or anti viral formula, Oo

Or a virus that starts a zombie apocalypse... it could go either way, really. ^.^


That was my thinking......could be good, could be bad.....some ancient virus infects us all!!

Oh my god, what if it actually infected people and gave them conscious and empathetic feelings, and actually led to real morality, not a social fake........might be a good thing Laughing

Cool post, thanks for sharing!
milkshake01
Was the fissure caused by Global Warming?
1683598
ocalhoun wrote:
amperx wrote:
you can only imagine the findings, like a cure, or a medicine or anti viral formula, Oo

Or a virus that starts a zombie apocalypse... it could go either way, really. ^.^


In this day and age, you people still worry about zombies? The real danger is hiding right in your faces and you don't even see it!

Yes while you people were busy with zombies, Global Warming is melting not only glaciers but icecream at an alarming rate!

Here in the Pacific region, our icecream is melting faster than we can eat them! We don't even have greentea icecream here.
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