An atypical study led by a group of scientists from the Australian National University's Fenner School of Environment and Society has discovered the existence of a secret life beneath the surface of the mysterious caves under Antarctica’s glaciers.
According to scientists, a secret world of animals and plants, including unknown species may exist in these extensive cave systems that have been hollowed out around Mt Erebus on Antarctica's Ross Island, the home of New Zealand's Scott Base.
In order to confirm the same, Forensic experts have conducted analyses of soil samples from those caves and found significant traces of DNA from algae, mosses and small animals. Though most of that DNA was similar to DNA from plants and animals like mosses, algae and invertebrates, researchers have failed to identify all the traces.
On the other hand, Professor Laurie Connell from the University of Maine has denied agreeing that there are still plants and animals alive in those warm mysterious caves.
Talking about their latest findings lead author Dr. Ceridwen Fraser has said, "It can be really warm inside the caves - up to 25C in some caves."
"The results from this study give us a tantalising glimpse of what might live beneath the ice in Antarctica - there might even be new species of animals and plants," Fraser added.
"The next steps will be to take a closer look at the caves and search for living organisms, if they exist, it opens the door to an exciting new world," Laurie Connell was quoted while talking about the same.
Besides researching on the mysterious truth behind those caves, Kiwi scientists are gearing up to create a 3D model of Mt Erebus' plumbing, or magmatic system, from source to surface.
The project is expected to enable Antarctica to make a valuable contribution to understand the mechanics of phonolitic magma systems across the world.