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 …
"“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.
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.
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.
... 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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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
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