Russia says drillers reach long-buried Antarctic lake
A picture taken in January 2009 shows scientists of Russia's Vostok research station with a visiting Prince Albert II of Monaco (third from left).
February 8th, 2012
09:57 PM ET

Russia says drillers reach long-buried Antarctic lake

Russian scientists briefly pierced the two-mile-thick veil over a freshwater lake hidden beneath Antarctica's ice sheet for millions of years, polar researchers announced Wednesday.

Scientists hope samples of Lake Vostok, a body the size of Lake Ontario, will yield signs of previously undiscovered life and new clues about the history of the planet. The lake is believed to have been covered by ice for up to 30 million years.

Russian researchers completed the drilling effort Sunday, reaching the lake at a depth of 3,769 meters (2.3 miles) into the ice, the St. Petersburg-based Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute reported.

When the ice above the lake was breached, lake water was sucked up into the bore and froze, the Russians said. That will allow researchers to take samples back to the surface without contaminating the lake below, they said.

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Filed under: Environment • Nature • Russia • Science
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. ♔Mmmmm♕

    well that definitely put a new spin on ice fishing...

    February 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ♔Mmmmm♕

    probally pull up frozen alien dna sample which laid dormant for millions of years frozen until shipped to a laboratory where its slide examinations are inadvertently left under warm lamp rays of a microscope where it grows into a ugly jelly monster creature and start eating humans...this is just another scary movie waiting to happen...

    February 8, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    I'm still trying to wrap my mind around ice more than two miles thick.

    February 8, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ♔Mmmmm♕

    what does it sound like if you say boc-tok five times really fast???

    February 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Let us know, would ya, darlin'?
      I'd be interested in knowing...if it's printable of

      February 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    Roflmao @ mmmm, and i was thinking earlier how much i missed ice fishing! Not any more thanks. 🙂

    February 8, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ♔Mmmmm♕

    yep...look how huge that boc-tok is in that picture...

    February 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO ©

    I think I had boctok at a Minsk bakery one time.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Boctok

    Tin soldiers and Boctok's coming
    We're finally on our own
    This summer I hear the drumming
    Four dead in Boctok

    Gonna get down to it
    Boctok is gunning us down
    Should have been Boctok long ago
    What if you Boctok and
    Boctok Boctok on the ground
    How can you Boctok when you know

    Tin Boctok and Boctok Boctok
    We're Boctok Boctok Boc
    This Boctok I hear the Boctok
    Four Boctoks in Boctok Boctok

    February 9, 2012 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. gung hoe

    Can you imagine how good the fishing is,that lakes not been fished in 2 million years. Them fish have to be starveing.

    February 9, 2012 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      It was 30 million years gung. I personally can't wait to find out if they find any new species.

      February 9, 2012 at 6:54 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      reminds me of that movie piranha...

      February 9, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      not new species.. a very old one.. and it's hungry..

      February 9, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Rdsnpr

    Now gung wher the he#l have you been the fiah are starving ill give them a slim jim!!!

    February 9, 2012 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rdsnpr

    Im alittle bit buzzed right now i took some vicatin whewww man

    February 9, 2012 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. gung hoe

    @Roadsniper NO its more like where the heck you been man

    February 9, 2012 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    Not me.

    February 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    And now we have a little clue where the recently giant shrimp came from eh?

    February 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And why is was so pale...and dead...
      Mary's got a point, though...who knows what's lurking down there....?

      February 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sunny

    boctok is in the Cyrillic alphabet. Changed into letters of our Roman alphabet it would be vostok – with the s pronounced unvoiced as in "start". Vladivostok comes from it. Vostok means East or the East. Vladivostok means sort of Lord of the East- got this from short internet search (plus some of my own knowledge of Russian)

    February 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • â™”Mmmmm♕

      thanks sonny...however the english "b" for the russian "v" is more fun...just like the english "o" for the english "u"...

      February 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
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