Gigantic freshwater lake found unter 4 km of ice
Almost 4 km beneath the East-Antarctic ice sheet, Lake Vostok, a vast freshwater lake was discovered 1996 by using ice-penetrating radar and artificial seismic waves. Lake Vostok is the oldest, most pristine lake in the world and it never has been disturbed by humankind yet. It is one of more than 70 lakes, which have been identified under the Antarctic ice sheet. Scientists estimate Lake Vostok''s age at 35 million years. The lake has been completely isolated for 500,000 years and could contain ancient bacteria and micro-organisms with a unique gene pool unchanged since a time when Antarctica was covered with green forests.
Lake Vostok is thought to be one of the world''s largest lakes, 48 km wide by 225 km long and 914 m deep, covering an area of more than 10,000 km².