East Antarctica preserved a gory mystery for around 100 years. The tongue of Taylor Glacier hosted a flow of liquid that presented a crimson color. Because of this peculiarity, the stream of water was dubbed as the Blood Falls. Nonetheless, a new study managed to dispel the mystical interpretation of this phenomenon that placed it as a fresh wound of Earth.
The Blood Falls Seemed Also to Defy the State of Aggregation
More than 100 years ago, geologist Griffith Taylor was the first person who discovered the blood falls in Antarctica that ends into the ice lake of West Lake Boney. The glacier on which the red stream flows was named after the scientist himself, and it is also the coldest block of ice in the world.
Initially, persons of science explained the peculiar stream as one of side effects of the presence of algae in the water. However, a new study revealed something else completely. The findings of the research appeared in Journal of Glaciology. Scientists employed a radar to figure out the origin of the layers of ice from where the river springs.
The odd phenomenon continues to flow undisturbed in McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. The falls slip from the Taylor Glacier. The surface of the block of ice presents itself with fissures. These cracks cause the water to form bubbles. Another mystery that surrounds this stream of water regards its state of aggregation. It is a wonder that the water can preserve its liquid form even though the temperature is 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Odd Phenomenon Exists Due to High Levels of Iron Found in Water
By analyzing the glacier’s layers, scientists managed to crack the mystery. They eventually discovered a large underground system of subglacial rivers together with a subglacial lake. This pool of water is high in iron. As a consequence, this odd lake lands a ruby tint to Blood Falls.
Moreover, after analyzing the makeup of the lake which consists of brine, scientists managed to explain why the flow never freezes. Despite subglacial conditions, the brine keeps its liquid state thanks to high levels of salt and latent heat. As the salty water has a different freezing point, the energy it releases melts the ice which lets the falls to flow freely. The brine reaches the underground through fissures in glassier. While the brine freezes, it begins to release latent heat that melts the ice around and increases water concentration in cracks. This explains the bubbles that take form in these fissures.
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