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No. 102: Nov-Dec 1995

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Warm lake found under antarctic ice sheet

Russian scientists using "ice radar" and artificial seismic waves have discovered a vast warmwater lake under their Antarctic base. Named after the Russian base, which is located 1,300 kilometers from the South Pole, Lake Vostok lies under 3,800 meters of solid ice and, apparently, directly under the base. This remarkable body of water was reported in the journal Kyokuchi, published by the Japan Polar Research Association. The lake is 250 kilometers long, 40 wide, and 400 meters deep. Obviously, it requires some sort of explanation as to why is not frozen.

Two theories have been proposed: (1) Heat from the earth's interior has kept it from freezing; (2) The lake has not yet had time enough to freeze after a temperate period that ended about 5,000 years ago. (Anonymous; "Lake Discovered beneath Antarctic Ice," The Japan Times, May 23, 1995. Cr. N. Masuya)

Comment. Can there be a connection between this discovery and the ice-free Antarctica suggested by C.H. Hapgood in his Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings?

From Science Frontiers #102 Nov-Dec 1995. � 1995-2000 William R. Corliss