Russian scientists finally reach Lake Vostok

February 9th, 2012 - 9:36 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Moscow, Feb 9 (THAINDIAN NEWS) After 20 years of trying, Russian scientists have announced a major breakthrough in the quest to get to Lake Vostok. The scientists believe that the lake which has stayed hidden beneath the Antarctic ice could offer the best insight into the evolution theory.

Scientists estimate that there are about 300 sub-glacial lakes located in the Antarctica. Scientists from Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute have been drilling the White Continent for two decades now.

Project supervisor Valery Lukin told reporters that, “This fills my soul with joy. This will give us the possibility to biologically evaluate the evolution of living organisms… because those organisms spent a long time without contact with the atmosphere, without sunlight.”

The project has been a very challenging one. Several planning has gone into it because of the harsh conditions at the location. On the 21st of July 1983, scientists recorded the lowest ever temperature – minus 89C – at the place.

Lake Vostok is estimated to cover an area of 15,000 square kilometers reaching down to a depth of 800 meters. Russian authorities installed the Vostok station in 1956.

Critics say the way the lake was drilled will introduce contamination but the team argues that they took the necessary precautions.

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