10 Strange Discoveries Under the Ice of Antarctica

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by Dean Garrison, DC Clothesline:

I’m still waiting for them to find a frozen group of climate change alarmists under the ice of Antarctica, but that discovery has yet to be made.

Until then, these are some of the strangest discoveries beneath the ice of the earth’s southern ice cap.

10. Elongated Human Skulls

From the UK Express

IT WAS a mind-blowing announcement – that not only had remains of historic inhabitants of Antarctica been found, but at the same time they could be from aliens. 

The story went viral online, claiming that three ancient skulls were unearthed by a team of archaeologists.

It was seen as mind-blowing, not only because it was thought at the time Antarctica was first reached by humans, in 1820, hundreds of years after the suspected age of the skulls, but also because they were “elongated with giant craniums”, leading some commentators to claim they could have been the remains of aliens who visted Earth.

The reports claim that an archaeologist called Damian Waters and his team uncovered the skulls in a region of Antarctica called La Paille.

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9. An Ancient Meteorite

From Lunar & Planetary Institute:

ALH 84001 is a meteorite, a rock that fell to Earth from space. It was found in December 1984 in Antarctica by a U.S. meteorite-hunting expedition. When it was found, ALH 84001 weighed about 4 and 3/4 pounds (1.93 kilograms). It was shaped like a rounded brick or a large potato, about 6 inches long by 4 inches by 3 inches, and was partly covered with black glass (like it was dipped in tar). The glass, called fusion crust, forms on all meteorites when they burn through the Earth’s atmosphere. ALH 84001 looked green inside, which really excited the expedition. But back at civilization, ALH 84001 looks much grayer inside than green.

ALH 84001 formed originally from molten lava, about 4.5 billion years ago, which is called its igneous age, possibly from an ancient martian volcano. To a geologist, ALH 84001 is an igneous rock, similar to many that crystallized from lava inside the Earth. ALH 84001 is also similar to an important group of igneous meteorites (the diogenites), and was classified as one of them until 1994 when its martian origin recognized by Mittlefehldt (1994).

Long after ALH 84001 crystallized from molten lava and cooled, about 4.0 billion years ago, it was heated again and deformed by a strong shock. This heating and shock were probably from the nearby impact of an asteroid or meteorite. Some time after this impact, possibly about 3.6 billion years ago, some kind of liquid flowed through ALH 84001 and deposited rounded globules of carbonate minerals. The possible martian fossils are in these carbonate globules. The only more recent event that we can see in ALH 84001 is another shock event. This shock may have come from the meteorite impact that lofted ALH 84001 off Mars. For a blow-by-blow description of ALH 84001’s geological history, see Treiman (1995).

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8. Ancient Fossils

From British Antarctic Survey:

Dinosaur hunting on Sandwich Bluff, Vega Island. Fossil remains of a hypsilophodontid dinosaur that is about 70 million years old. The fragmented bones of the skull, fore limbs and vertebral column from a 5 metre long animal were collected on a scientific cruise to James Ross Island

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7. Petrified remains of an unusual animal

From The Register:

Flight from tropics saved egg-laying furless cat

Fossil-probing boffins say they have found evidence that early mammal-like creatures survived a severe episode of global warming 252 million years ago by moving to Antarctica. Most other species then living were wiped out.

The new research comes from scientists at the Field Museum in Chicago and the University of Washington. According to a statement released by the Field Museum:

SCIENTISTS ARE STILL DEBATING WHAT CAUSED THE END-PERMIAN EXTINCTION, BUT IT WAS LIKELY ASSOCIATED WITH MASSIVE VOLCANIC ACTIVITY IN SIBERIA THAT COULD HAVE TRIGGERED GLOBAL WARMING… A NEW FOSSIL SPECIES SUGGESTS THAT SOME LAND ANIMALS MAY HAVE SURVIVED BY LIVING IN COOLER CLIMATES IN ANTARCTICA.

The new species in question is Kombuisia antarctica, a curious critter classed among the anomodonts, “mammal relatives” which are now all extinct but which were the main plant-eaters in the era prior to the big die-off.

“Kombuisia antarctica, about the size of a small house cat, was considerably different from today’s mammals — it likely laid eggs, didn’t nurse its young and didn’t have fur, and it is uncertain whether it was warm blooded,” says Kenneth Angielczyk, assistant curator of paleomammology at the Field Museum.

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6. Blood Waterfall

From Forbes:

The longstanding mystery surrounding Antarctica’s Blood Falls has finally been solved. The deep red falls were first discovered in Antarctica in 1911 where scientists noticed a river had stained the surrounding cliff of ice with a dark red color. Previously, they had believed it was due to algae discoloring the water, however that hypothesis was never verified.

Now, thanks to research by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, we know the true origin of the Blood Falls flowing from the Taylor Glacier. The deep red coloring is due to oxidized iron in brine saltwater, the same process that gives iron a dark red color when it rusts. When the iron bearing saltwater comes into contact with oxygen the iron oxidizes and takes on a red coloring, in effect dying the water to a deep red color.

The research team transected the glacier in a grid using radio-echo sounding (RES) to map out the features below the glacier. Thankfully, the super saturated brine that makes up the river allows for a stark density contrast in RES compared to the non-saline (fresh) ice. The research team calculates that the brine water takes approximately 1.5 million years to finally reach the Blood Falls as it makes its way through fissures and channels in the glacier.

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