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Russian Team Prepares To Penetrate Lake Vostok

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the in-soviet-russia,-lake-uhh-nevermind dept.

Science 237

Lanxon writes "Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit. The lake, which lies four kilometers below the icy surface of Antarctica, is unique in that it's been completely isolated from the other 150 subglacial lakes on the continent for such a long time. It's also oligotropic, meaning that it's supersaturated with oxygen — levels of the element are 50 times higher than those found in most typical freshwater lakes."

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237 comments

I for one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795684)

I for one welcome our new oligotropic overlords in soviet russia.

Re:I for one (1)

angloquebecer (1821728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795760)

The lake, which lies four kilometers below the icy surface of Antarctica

I think Russia is more than four kilometers "below" Antarctica...

Re:I for one (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795834)

Actually, Russia is way above Antarctica. Like "3/4 of the planet diameter" kind of higher.

Re:I for one (0)

angloquebecer (1821728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795862)

If you were standing in Antarctica, and looked up I doubt you'd see Russia. ;-)

Re:I for one (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795892)

That's because it's so far up, silly. :P

Re:Look Up (2, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795904)

What does Sarah Palin think?

Re:Look Up (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796004)

Is that a trick question?

Re:Look Up (4, Insightful)

MTTECHYBOY (799778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796036)

It is a valid question, if you Drop the "What."

Re:Look Up (1)

IronWilliamCash (1078065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796156)

Wish I had mod points!!! :) Just made my afternoon.

Re:Look Up (1, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796720)

Would it be impolite to point out that she has accomplished far more in life than you or I have, or probably ever will? If Sarah Palin is dumb, therefore, there's a significantly greater than zero chance that you and I are even dumber.

Re:Look Up (1, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796792)

Or at least you. As unqualified for the presidency as she may be, I'm at least smart enough to recognize that she almost certainly do worse than the current holder of that office, who is even less qualified and who appears to be on track to beat out Jimmy Carter as the least competent holder of that office during my lifetime (not that Jimmy Carter is not a highly competent individual in other areas; he just wasn't competent as POTUS).

Re:Look Up (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796076)

MOD PARENT UP.

(and have them buy me a new keyboard. pepsi does not exactly help keyboards...)

Re:Look Up (5, Informative)

vgerclover (1186893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796242)

Never drink and slashdot.

Re:Look Up (0)

matrim99 (123693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796722)

She thinks that she saw 'Antarctica' from her back yard, of course.

Re:Look Up (2)

RoccamOccam (953524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796822)

Perhaps she might think that "they're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska." On the other hand, Tina Fey (playing Sarah Palin) might think "I can see Russia from my house." [source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_misconceptions#United_States_politics [wikipedia.org] ]

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796124)

Actually, Russia is way above Antarctica. Like "3/4 of the planet diameter" kind of higher.

Or just 1/4 of the planet's diameter the other way. Saves on gas too.

Re:I for one (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796262)

The two of you need to get a globe. Google has a free one [google.com] .

Re:I for one (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796608)

Ssshhh. Watching two idiots argue is hilarious good fun. Don't spoil it.

Re:I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795868)

In Soviet Russia, new oligotropic overlords welcome you!

Re:I for one (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796384)

In Soviet Russia, new oligotropic overlords welcome you!

Oxygen, or was it carbon dioxide?

It's about time (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795690)

Drill, baby, drill!

Why do they need to drill to this lake? (1, Interesting)

xQuarkDS9x (646166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795712)

I fail to see the need to drill to this lake so far below the surface. For one thing I would be worried about bringing back up who knows what with organisms and bacteria that we have not seen before that could be dangerous, also don't you think they would be contaminating this lake by drilling into it?

Did You Even Read the Article? (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795730)

I fail to see the need to drill to this lake so far below the surface. For one thing I would be worried about bringing back up who knows what with organisms and bacteria that we have not seen before that could be dangerous, also don't you think they would be contaminating this lake by drilling into it?

From the article:

Now, the team has satisfied the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, which safeguards the continent's environment, that it's come up with a technique to sample the lake without contaminating it. Valery Lukin told New Scientist: "Once the lake is reached, the water pressure will push the working body and the drilling fluid upwards in the borehole, and then freeze again." The next season, the team will bore into that frozen water to recover a sample whose contents can then be analysed.

I think it's similar to this mission at Lake Ellsworth [nerc.ac.uk] .

Re:Did You Even Read the Article? (0)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795880)

I fail to see the need to drill to this lake so far below the surface. For one thing I would be worried about bringing back up who knows what with organisms and bacteria that we have not seen before that could be dangerous, also don't you think they would be contaminating this lake by drilling into it?

From the article:

Now, the team has satisfied the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, which safeguards the continent's environment, that it's come up with a technique to sample the lake without contaminating it. Valery Lukin told New Scientist: "Once the lake is reached, the water pressure will push the working body and the drilling fluid upwards in the borehole, and then freeze again." The next season, the team will bore into that frozen water to recover a sample whose contents can then be analysed.

I think it's similar to this mission at Lake Ellsworth [nerc.ac.uk] .

So is it going to freeze before it hits the top of the bore then? If not that means we're releasing whatever is in that water into our environment. That could be really really bad any way you look at it.

I'm not hopeful enough that it could release something giving us extreme life-extensions.

Re:Did You Even Read the Article? (2)

mibe (1778804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795992)

What do you think is at the top of the bore? They're sampling the lake but at the top is just a hose that sprays whatever they find into the environment? It takes a long string of implausibly (impossibly?) disastrous outcomes to cause any concern whatsoever.

Re:Did You Even Read the Article? (0)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796054)

It takes a long string of implausibly (impossibly?) disastrous outcomes to cause any concern whatsoever.

So was implied about offshore drilling but look at the monumental fuck up that BP was able to pull off in the gulf.

Re:Did You Even Read the Article? (2)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796490)

It takes a long string of implausibly (impossibly?) disastrous outcomes to cause any concern whatsoever.

So was implied about offshore drilling but look at the monumental fuck up that BP was able to pull off in the gulf.

The only people ever to claim that offshore drilling is inherently safe are lobbyists of various types.

Drilling is like sitting on a bomb and hitting it with a hammer all afternoon. Almost certainly nothing bad will happen, but it's pretty obvious that there's a remote chance of disaster, and the nature of the disaster is obvious.

Drilling into a lake in such a way that the borehole will be plugged with the water from that lake several kilometers before reaching the surface, the surface of Antarctica no less, is like using a robot on the Moon to stir a vial of melted Moon-water inside a glove box. If you think it's likely to cause some sort of dangerous series of events, you've been watching too many made for SyFy movies.

Re:Did You Even Read the Article? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796570)

Yeah, imagine the environmental horrors of a spill of the cleanest water on earth spewing endlessly out.

Re:Did You Even Read the Article? (5, Insightful)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796032)

I fail to see the need to drill to this lake so far below the surface. For one thing I would be worried about bringing back up who knows what with organisms and bacteria that we have not seen before that could be dangerous, also don't you think they would be contaminating this lake by drilling into it?

From the article:

Now, the team has satisfied the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, which safeguards the continent's environment, that it's come up with a technique to sample the lake without contaminating it. Valery Lukin told New Scientist: "Once the lake is reached, the water pressure will push the working body and the drilling fluid upwards in the borehole, and then freeze again." The next season, the team will bore into that frozen water to recover a sample whose contents can then be analysed.

I think it's similar to this mission at Lake Ellsworth [nerc.ac.uk] .

So is it going to freeze before it hits the top of the bore then? If not that means we're releasing whatever is in that water into our environment. That could be really really bad any way you look at it. I'm not hopeful enough that it could release something giving us extreme life-extensions.

So, drilling a hole in the ground and sucking out millions of barrels of hydrocarbons, which have been isolated for thousands (or millions) of years, as well as any organisms living there is fine. Collecting a sample from a lake that has been isolated for thousands of years for research is the beginning of the apocalypse? I can only assume you're quite concerned about the Large Hadron Collider, as well.

Re:Did You Even Read the Article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796604)

So they let out some water into the bore hole, which is sealed until they can recover it the next year (2012).. during this time the bacteria that's been left on its own in there gets seriously pissed at this and when released turn us all into grey goo... See the Mayans were right after all.

Arthur C. Clarke (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795996)

I think it's similar to this mission at Lake Ellsworth [nerc.ac.uk] .

It sounds like one of those Space Odyssey books, without leaving earth.

So then it's safe sex (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796060)

So they'll penetrate the lake and then suck out its juice without risk of contamination...

Re:Why do they need to drill to this lake? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795736)

They've got to penetrate the lake to get their bit wet.

Re:Why do they need to drill to this lake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795770)

I say bring it on but that's just coz am an anarchist...

Re:Why do they need to drill to this lake? (3, Insightful)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795954)

Because it's there. Simple human curiosity, something your DNA seems to have deactivated. And this is real life, not a John Carpenter movie.

Re:Why do they need to drill to this lake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796288)

Oh. For. Fucks. Sake. PMSing a little, are we?

Re:Why do they need to drill to this lake? (1)

Mechanik (104328) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796322)

For one thing I would be worried about bringing back up who knows what with organisms and bacteria that we have not seen before that could be dangerous

Yeah seriously... haven't they seen The Thing? Luckily Kurt Russell and Keith David are still around to protect us.

Penetrate, you say? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795716)

More like Rape Vostok, amirite? All those poor extremophile trilobites shivering in their oxygen-rich environment will cry bloody murder and release unknown, ancient pathogens into the atmosphere which will wipe out the human race quicker than someone who has Tourettes and a stutter can say 'ebola'.

Also nobody's going to see any real results from this endeavor until next year if you are inclined to read the article. They have to break through, let the pressurized water push up the shaft then refreeze so they can drill it next year to extract specimens. The Russkies don't even have a little submarine to go puttering through the environment. They still have 100m to go and trying to be careful is going to require them to stop by the southern summer.

Re:Penetrate, you say? (3, Interesting)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796008)

...release unknown, ancient pathogens into the atmosphere...

which can't survive in our environment which has 1/50 the oxygen they are used to?

...so they can drill it next year to extract specimens...

like 2012? uh oh, you may be on to something. :-)

Re:Penetrate, you say? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796596)

nah, they obviously wrote that Mayan calendar just for ME, since I'm eligible to retire Dec 21, 2012. Life as I know it will certainly end, but probably not life as most people know it.

i hope for new life forms and new genomes for us. (3, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795726)

I hope for new life forms and new genomes for us, bioinformaticians.

The more I learn about the way the phenotype is coded in the genome, the more in awe of the creation I am.

Subhana Allah

Re:i hope for new life forms and new genomes for u (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795824)

With any luck you'll get to sample the genome of the great old ones.

Re:i hope for new life forms and new genomes for u (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795950)

The Cthulhu Clone Wars! Coming this Fall on Cartoon Network!

Re:i hope for new life forms and new genomes for u (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795952)

Maybe you'll get to sample the genome of Allah! I heard he lives somewhere down there....

Re:i hope for new life forms and new genomes for u (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796314)

Fine, but don't forget to use all that information to extend the useful lifespan for us, users of the genome.

Nice idea, but have they thought it through? (0)

DemonNiko (1968008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795728)

So what *are* the ramifications of releasing a large pocket of oxygen into our current atmosphere, both for us and for the lake which has been sitting isolated for 14 million years? Not so much being snarky as not being a scientist and am curious. It's great that we can go anywhere that's locked away and hidden, but should we?

Seriously, Nobody Read the Article? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795924)

So what *are* the ramifications of releasing a large pocket of oxygen into our current atmosphere, both for us and for the lake which has been sitting isolated for 14 million years?

Your fears are unfounded, from the article:

Now, the team has satisfied the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, which safeguards the continent's environment, that it's come up with a technique to sample the lake without contaminating it. Valery Lukin told New Scientist: "Once the lake is reached, the water pressure will push the working body and the drilling fluid upwards in the borehole, and then freeze again." The next season, the team will bore into that frozen water to recover a sample whose contents can then be analysed.

So they're taking the appropriate precautions there ...

Not so much being snarky as not being a scientist and am curious. It's great that we can go anywhere that's locked away and hidden, but should we?

The moon was "locked away" but we went there, didn't we?

Everyone needs to relax, there's an expedition to explore Lake Ellsworth and we've already explored an ultra-oligotrophic lake named Hodgson Lake [nerc.ac.uk] and the results:

They found... nothing. The analyses show that the Hodgson Lake water 'is one of the clearest water lakes I have ever worked on, clearer than the distilled water we use in our lab, with almost nothing in it,' says Hodgson. The samples have virtually no nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and very low measurements of other chemical elements.

So they're going to take necessary precautions approved by a governing body and the odds are high that their results will just turn up some of the purest water we've ever seen. Of course the article notes that if they find extremophiles, it'll be a boon for studying the many protective enzymes the organisms need to live.

Re:Seriously, Nobody Read the Article? (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796090)

Read the article? You must be new here. :)

Re:Seriously, Nobody Read the Article? (4, Funny)

MattMattMatt (1273714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796672)

Read the article? You must be new here. :)

He's an extremophile.

Re:Nice idea, but have they thought it through? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796392)

It wouldn't effect the world at large. The lake would be forever changed however.

Do note that they are not opening it to the air. They are going to poke it, let the pressure differential push some of the lakewater out the bore a ways and plug it.... which will cause the released water to freeze and plug the lake. Later, they can drill back down and take a hunk of the frozen water without re-opening the lake itself, and do their sciency stuff with that.

Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (-1, Troll)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795742)

I mean we're going to contaminate something that's been isolated for a long long time.

Once you pop that bubble so to speak the place will never be the same. And what's the chance that there's organisms that are harmful to our current ecosystems? Can I get a "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" tag?

Re:Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (4, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795820)

"Once you pop that bubble so to speak the place will never be the same"

That is true for almost everything we do on this planet whether we like it or not. It's our modus operandi.

"And what's the chance that there's organisms that are harmful to our current ecosystems? " Not a great chance. Harm is never the ultimate goal of microorganisms that are "harmful" to us. Harm is always a byproduct of being able to use us and in order to do that, microorganism must coexist with us for some time.

Randomness * really big numbers = very little probabilities.

Re:Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795936)

I mean we're going to contaminate something that's been isolated for a long long time.

Read (and comprehend) the fucking articles and stop spreading FUD, numb-nuts.

Re:Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (5, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796094)

To be fair, theory and practice are in theory identical; in practice, not so much.

Re:Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796034)

eldavojohn explained it here [slashdot.org] in answer to someone who asked the same question as you.

In short, they've actually thought of the possible problems! Will wonders never cease?

Re:Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (2)

Trails (629752) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796330)

You mean some schmuck on slashdot didn't discover new problems that elitist scientists, probably played by Oliver Platt, with their Lexuses (Lexi?) and mistresses and ear of the president, up in their ivory tower of Oxford or Yale or Brown didn't think about?

Not much of a script writer, are you?

Re:Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796118)

The water pressure from the lake will come up the drill-hole and freeze. It's some of that ice that will be examined at a later date.

Still, nothing like bothering to RTFA!

Re:Anybody else feel like this is a bad idea? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796404)

Yea, lets all sit on our hands and not touch anything ever again... we might CHANGE something!?!!

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795774)

In Soviet gay bar, drill bit pierces you!

Like many bad movie plots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795778)

I've seen this movie. It doesn't end well.

Wonder what else is down there? (1)

daedae (1089329) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795802)

Let's assume I made (all of) the obvious joke(s) about "penetrate" so we can get that out of the way.

Finding creatures sealed off for 14 million years below 4km of ice would be pretty cool. I wonder what else is under the Antarctic ice? Was the continent ever tropical/non-icy? Might we find fossils of new species, assuming there was some way to get down there?

Re:Wonder what else is down there? (0)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795994)

I knew she was hard to penetrate, but FOURTEEN MILLION YEARS!?!
What an icy bitch!

Re:Wonder what else is down there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796012)

Nothing, no, and no.

Get back to making jokes.

We know how this is going to end (4, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795808)

They'll dig up a strange UFO with some doppleganger virus that causes the whole crew to kill each other.

Re:We know how this is going to end (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796138)

I say they'll wake Cthulhu.

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.

Re:We know how this is going to end (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796398)

I, for one, welcome the awakening of the Ancient Elder God. Perhaps he will finish the work of Al Queda, wiping away the pentagon and realizing their true mission, the liberation of Yog Sothoth!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Re:We know how this is going to end (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796856)

In Lovecraftian lore, he is an Old One, and a priest to the Old Gods, but not one of the gods himself. Think Yog-Sothoth etc. for the gods.

Oh, and lest I forget. Hastur! Hastur! Hastur!

Re:We know how this is going to end (1)

ergean (582285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796650)

Nahhh... we should check if Weyland Industries has anything to do with this.

In Soviet.... (5, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795850)

In Soviet Antarctica, buried lake penetrates drill hole!

Seriously. RTFA.

Oh noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795888)

Instead of a drilling and accidentally spilling millions of gallons of hydrocarbons into the sea these people are going to drill and accidentally spill millions of gallons of dihydrogen monoxide.

Also there is apparently a pyramid down there giving off strange EM signals.

Earlier reports (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795906)

Earlier reports had them buying drinks for the lake and complimenting it's clarity.

Oh great (2)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795918)

Release the Piranha!

Re:Oh great (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796110)

if I may paraphrase Pink Floyd:

Don't be surprised when a Krakken The Ice
Appears under your feet...
You slip out of your depths
And out of your mind
With the Krakken close behind you
As you drill the thin ice!

Re:Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796416)

THE WALL

Russian Teen Prepares To Penetrate Lake Vostok (2)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795938)

I am so utterly disappointed by the article.

Re:Russian Teen Prepares To Penetrate Lake Vostok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796082)

Me too! Oh wait, "Russian Team..." Nevermind.
Queue the "In Soviet Russia, Lake Vostok Prepares to Penetrate You!" joke.

Wait a minute... (2)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795940)

Isn't this how the movie Alien vs Predator started?

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796056)

or The Thing

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

sdaemon (25357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796070)

Yeah but that movie sucked. I'd prefer to reference The Thing.

Re:Wait a minute... (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796594)

Not unless they find a pyramid down there.

Re:Wait a minute... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796820)

Isn't this how Second Impact happened?

Obligatory... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34795974)

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

A Colder War [infinityplus.co.uk]

I think I seen this episode. (-1, Offtopic)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34795998)

Huhuhuh huhuhuhuh uuhhhh he said penetrate.

Whew! (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796010)

and here I was worried about peak oxygen!

Pretty Big Assumptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796028)

So I read the article and I follow the links and I see nothing that explains how, for a lake that has never been breached and sampled, they know it is super saturated with oxygen.

I also see no evidence that the lake is under pressure and will force the drilling fluids back up the drill hole.

Is it just me or is this whole thing just assumption on top of assumption?

coming soon : "Elder God Park" (4, Funny)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796410)

That's how these things always start out.

Oh yeah "Ooh, aah", that's how it always starts. But then there's running and screaming.

It was clearly spelled out in the transmission from the pyramid. What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" didn't you understand?

Re:Pretty Big Assumptions (0)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796838)

I don't really know, but I would guess they might be able to do some sort of light-analysis. Scientists can tell us the chemical composition of distant stars and nebulae simply be examining the light coming from or passing through (respectively) them, so perhaps they can do something similar with the water in the lake?

Here's a stupid question (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796088)

How do they know what the oxygen concentration is if they haven't drilled into it yet?

Re:Here's a stupid question (3, Funny)

Green Salad (705185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796370)

These scientists actually know the oxygen concentration because the scientists actually read the article. Yeah, I know. My logic is well shaped. I assert that "circular" is a shape.

fhtagn (1)

pdawson (89236) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796140)

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.

Oligotropic doesn't mean its rich in oxygen (4, Informative)

figleaf (672550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796142)

It just means an environment which is low in nutrients.

The lake just happens to have high oxygen levels because of high pressure from the layers of ice - that doesn't make it oligotrophic.

In other news.... (0)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796184)

I wonder if they will find anyTHING?

"Peter, what are you doing Peter?!"

*Nom nom nom nom nom and radio static*

not quite (4, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796202)

It's also oligotropic, meaning that it's supersaturated with oxygen

No, it means that the lake has very few nutrients and is therefore not terribly productive biologically. see here [wikipedia.org] . Many lakes that fall into the oligotropic chategory are also Oxygenated but it is not why they are oligotropic.
The real question I have is where that Oxygen is coming from. There probably isn't much photosynthesis going on at that depth which means either Oxygen is being imported to the system, it isn't being consumed very rapidly or it's being generated somehow.

You think your working conditions are bad... (4, Informative)

spopepro (1302967) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796218)

Cool to see they have a plan for getting info without causing harm. Hopefully it all works well.

The researchers involved on site have my respect. Here's some info about where they work:
Ave. winter temp: -65C, ave. summer temp: -30C
Altitude: 3488m
Record low temp: -89C. Good thing they are at altitude, as CO2 freezing point is -78C at 1atm.
Polar night for 130 days.

I like science... but I don't like science that much.

Amazing (0)

cvnautilus (1793340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796224)

I can't believe no one has come up with some stupid sexual double entendre joke about penetration. I thought I knew you /.

No need to drill, it's just in the basement. (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796232)

Well this is a completely uncharted lake with like hitherto unclassified marine life man, so the whole scene's wide open for a scientific exploration. The real hang-up was with the bread man but when the top brass pigs came through we got it together in a couple of moons. Commodore Betty Grable, who's a real sub-aqua head, has got together diving wise and like the whole gig's been a real gas man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DlN4Sh06po [youtube.com]

Bloody sharks.

.

Re:No need to drill, it's just in the basement. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796584)

That is one of my favorite sketches... I don't know why it isn't more widely appreciated.

Let's go straight to profit, shall we? (4, Funny)

gklinger (571901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796460)

This will inevitably lead to a new brand of vodka advertised as being made with "14 million year old, subglacial, super-oxygenated water".

This sounds like.... (3, Funny)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34796476)

...the beginning of a Twilight Zone episode.

Hmmmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34796642)

Am I the only one who at first read that as, "Russian Team Prepares To Penetrate Lady Vostok"?

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