back to article Russians drill into buried 20 million-year-old Antarctic lake

Russian scientists have drilled through to a 20-million-year-old lake under Antarctica, which, depending on who you listen to, could harbour alien life forms, prehistoric microbes or Hitler's secret hideout. An artist's cross-section of Lake Vostok An artist's cross-section of Lake Vostok. Credit: US National Science …


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  1. Pete the not so great
    Thumb Up


    A Starbucks

  2. Anonymous John

    Re "carefully decontaminated using radiation. There is no need to worry,”

    I for one, welcome our new million year old mutated glow in the dark overlords.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "“According to our research, the quantity of oxygen there exceeds that on other parts of our planet by 10 to 20 times. Any lifeforms that we find are likely to be unique on Earth,”

      Lifeforms that will presumably be killed then when the oxygen levels drop by 20 times as we punch a hole through their roof.


      1. Jonathan Richards 1

        What does that even mean?

        The word used is "quantity", explicitly not "proportion". Does it mean that there is ten times as many megatonnes of oxygen down there as everywhere else on the planet? That's absurd, so I assume the spokesbeing intended to say "proportion of oxygen there...". Then we have to understand what *that* might mean. Is it just that, due to the low temperature and high pressure, we expect dissolved oxygen levels (mg per litre) to be up to twenty times higher?

        For many lifeforms, humans included, high levels of oxygen are harmful. It doesn't seem to me that lots of oxygen would contribute to biodiversity.

  3. Jon Double Nice

    I might not be the first one to say this, but

    finding dangerous creatures hidden in an icy lake, then applying radiation to them? So now we have mutated radioactive dangerous ice creatures? I'm not convinced these people have really thought this through.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      A bit like...

      Fighting zombies with fire, then realising that all you have achieved is that you are now fighting zombies that are on fire.

  4. thefutureboy

    I for one...

    ...welcome our Nazi prehistoric zombie-making virus overlords.

  5. boltar Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Using freon instead of kerosene , well thats ok then


    It could easily poison some organisms in there. Still, knowing russians they'll fuck it up somehow and pollute the water with freon and kerosene. I doubt they much care whats in the lake, they just want to be able to boast that they did it first, wave their flag and get a pat on the back from Dictator Putin.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. CD001

      ... and if the Yanks had done it they'd have cut corners left, right and centre and fucked it up with a totally cavalier attitude until they've thrown enough resources to get a diver down there and see how it can be exploited (plant their own flag and get a pat on the back).

      The Brits of course haven't managed it, we probably debated it and complained about the weather a lot (brrr, it's a bit parky out) but once everyone else has managed huge amount of exploration in these remote sub-glacial lakes we'll probably send down a dustbin with some old PCB on-board which we'll promptly manage to lose.

      Have with finished with the national stereotyping yet?

      1. Armando 123

        "Have with finished with the national stereotyping yet?"

        And of course the French will be very insulted by all of this, but do nothing about it. Except stare prissily through the smoke of their Galoise.

        1. DanceMan

          The Canadians,

          after years of debate whether this was a federal or provincial responsibility, would launch a study on building an ice rink. After building it, it would be sold off cheaply to the Americans.

      2. Dinky Carter

        brrr it's a bit parky out?

        ... we Brits have traditionally come a-cropper in extreme environments by being a bit blasé about the weather.... for example Mallory strolling up Everest in tweeds.

      3. boltar Silver badge


        "Have with finished with the national stereotyping yet?"

        Yes, god forbid anyone should stereotype. After all , the russians have such an amazing record of enviromental stewardship don't they. Who wouldn't trust them to look after a pristine wilderness?

        1. eulampios

          How do you know? This might be exactly what Russians think of both the Americans and British. BTW, was it the Russians to pollute the Great Lakes of North America? You still can't take a swim in the Lake Erie. And the Russians certainly killed off most of the Wild life in Western Europe during the cold war (another well known Putin's decree.)

          1. Jonathan Richards 1

            Killed off most of the wildlife in Western Europe?

            Hmm. [citation required] I think. Here in England I've still got spiders in my garden shed, and hedgehogs and blackbirds in the garden. I regularly see wildfowl, and ants, and butterflies, not to mention large swathes of forest and non-cultivated grassland. Maybe they just *told* Mr Putin that they'd destroyed Western Europe's wildlife. Alas, and fatally for your theory, Vladimir Putin did not become Russian premier until 1999, a long time after the end of the Cold War.

            1. eulampios

              I meant the big game. Bears, wolves and such are either extinct (Germany, Britain) or consist of tiny populations. And mentioning Putin's name was an irony.

          2. Al Jones

            You can swim in Lake Erie

            The tourist agencies in New York, PA and Ohio even encourage it!

            1. eulampios

              When I jokingly mentioned that I swam there to my students in 2007 at the University of Toledo, OH. They took it seriously and told me quit doing that in the future. I was not surprised because .... well who hasn't heard about the infamous contamination of the Great Lakes?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Since we're stereotyping I'm gonna chip in too...

      To be honest it wouldn't surprise me if the US would plant several explosives and eventually blow the entire thing open, beats the time of drilling after all....

      Back to reality; I think you're giving the Russians way too little credit than they deserve. "Dictator Putin"? While I agree that their life style doesn't match our ideas of freedom I'm pretty confident than most Russians enjoy more freedom than your average Iraqi in the current "liberated" Iraq.

      1. eulampios

        Agreeing with you on this, I would say that freedom has become really relative in many parts of the world, unfortunately. Let's hope for the better future :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the duration of commenting on this topic...

    ... will Godwin's Law be repealed?

    1. Armando 123


      Sure, invoke Godwin's Law, just like Hitler would have.

      (Sadly, the joke icon is needed here.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Godwin's Law

      Only a Nazi would dare to say such a thing!

  7. Doug Glass

    Let's hope they don't find what agents Mulder and Scully found.

    1. Silverburn

      or what Kurt Russell found.

      1. NomNomNom

        or what Danforth and Dyer found

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      The Thing

      was on my mind more, but then I am that old

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        @Michael H.F. Wilkinson

        1. Graham Marsden

          That is not dead...

          ... which can eternal lie...!

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      or what A. Gordon Pym found.

      (Damn kids. Get off my preternaturally temperate Antarctic lawn so I can finish this narrative.)

  8. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Are they Mad?


    What if R'lyeh is down there?

    1. jackharbringer


      Or even worse:

      Nazi prehistoric reanimated zombie making ancient internet meme virus owls!!!

      Will no one think of the children!

  9. G C M Roberts

    "Germany's submarine fleet is proud that it created an unassailable fortress for the Fuhrer on the other end of the world"

    Wasn't this Argentina & Brazil?

    Mine's the coat not allowed to stop in any South American port ;)

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      re Argentina & Brazil

      Yes indeed. But they didn't build any fortress there, they just lived their calm, aliased lifes.

  10. Sacha TF Padovani

    To celebrate the great news

    I just had to watch "The Thing", yesterday night., btw, Italian newspapers report suspicions of a 105 by 75 KILOMETERS "extremely powerful" magnetic anomaly (1000 nanoTesla) in the SW edge of the lake. Maybe a "cylindrical or circular" metallic object.

    So, it's either The Thing, or a Linguafoeda Acheronsis, or a Predator ship, or the lost city of Leng where the Old Ones dropped from between the angles of space.

    In any case, I'm bolting down windows and doors.

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Don't worry - could just be a tripod placed there by an alien civilisation, waiting to be woken up so it can suck all our blood.

    2. Florence

      Brilliant, more sources for more Lovecraftian theoricizing.

      Although a US secret military base, an alien landing strip, a time travel vortex and even the Nazis somehow appear to be more popular options online.

    3. Robert Heffernan

      I'm stuck on a glacier with MacGyver

      Everyone should know they just found the Antarctic Stargate!

      You would figure a device capable of using superconductors to generate a wormhole through space (and time if you get too close to a solar flare) would create a pretty big magnetic anomaly.

      *Coat: I got my BDU, now just need my P90

  11. Rodrigo Valenzuela

    "There is no need to worry"

    Those are quite foreboding words...


  12. flearider

    you know there comming ...Resident Evil: Retribution nuff said ..

  13. Lloyd
    Thumb Up

    Unleash the Great Old Ones

    All hail to our new overlords - Yog-Sothoth, Lloigor, Zhar, Nyarlathotep,Azathoth, Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa, Shub-Niggurath and Yig (he doesn't like showy names because of a speech impediment he had as a child, terrible lisp, even worse as he's a serpent god).

    1. dogged

      Stop saying those names.

    2. A. Coatsworth

      Giant, blind, albino penguins is the first thing to be found there...

      <-- Well, I guess having new penguin overlords is better than the alternative

    3. Armando 123


      I'm not sure, but those might be names of my sons' playmates at The Urban And MultiCultural With A Vengence Daycare Center And Latte Bar.

    4. Yag

      SO related :)

      Forgot about Shoggoth, did ya?

      1. BoldMan

        I found this notice and all it says is "hastur hastur hastur"... aaaaiiiiiiieeeeeee"

        1. hplasm Silver badge

          "He actually wrote 'aaaaiiiiiiieeeeeee' did he?"

          "Well....maybe he was dictating..."

    5. Martin Budden

      Don't forget the


  14. EddieD

    "C'thulhu fhtagn"


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