NASA’s got all kinds of cred when it comes to space, but the very depths of our own planet’s oceans aren’t that much different. So who better to take a deep dive and drudge up the first images of the watery world beneath Antarctica’s ancient glaciers?
The Micro-Submersible Lake Exploration Device is a small, tubular device about the size of a baseball bat that took the unprecedented trip to the unexplored abyss earlier this month, under the guidance of researcher Alberto Behar from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Connected to a “mothership” by nearly a mile of cable, the sub was able to return a few images of the sub-glacial pool.
On top of images, the sub was also able to analyse the water down there and confirm that some particularly hardy bacteria is just hanging out. Some particularly hardy bacteria that might share common traits with particularly hardy extra-terrestrial life, if it exists.
The pictures aren’t the clearest, but it’s dark down there, after all. It just goes to show how much of our own blue marble we still haven’t seen. Let’s just hope they don’t wake The Great Old Ones.