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Drilling Begins At Lake Hidden Beneath Antarctic

timothy posted about a year ago | from the new-places-to-advertise dept.

Earth 131

New submitter stonetony writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A team of 12 scientists and engineers has begun work at remote Lake Ellsworth. They are using a high-pressure hose and sterilised water at near boiling point to blast a passage through more than two miles of ice. The aim is to analyse ice waters isolated for up to 500,000 years. The team of 12 scientists and engineers is using sterilised water at near boiling point to blast a passage through the ice to waters isolated for up to half a million years. The process of opening a bore-hole is expected to last five days and will be followed by a rapid sampling operation before the ice refreezes."

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131 comments

How are they doing this... (4, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#42281321)

Is there any chance that they're using sterile water heated to almost the boiling point to melt a passage through ice to get to water isolated for up to 5e5 years?

Re:How are they doing this... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281423)

i would say there is a good chance that they're using sterile water heated to almost the boiling point to melt a passage through ice to get to water isolated for up to 5e5 years

Re:How are they doing this... (5, Funny)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about a year ago | (#42281545)

You're all missing the point that they're using water near 100C to bore through ice to get at water that's been isolated for as much as 500 millennia.

Re:How are they doing this... (1)

enoz (1181117) | about a year ago | (#42281557)

Three times is poetry.

Re:How are they doing this... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#42281837)

The DoRD Department of Redundacy Department does not do poetry. Please continue.

Re:How are they doing this... (2)

Dragon Bait (997809) | about a year ago | (#42283245)

The DoRD Department of Redundacy Department does not do poetry. Please continue.

Actually they do. But it's Vogon poetry.

Title arriving: (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#42283341)

"Ode to a Small Lump of Greenish Water that Turned to into Putty I Found in my Antarctic Pit That I Reached Using Slightly Sub-Gaseous Phase Water One Midsummer Morning, Which Turned Out to be Cthulhu's Placenta, There in His R'lyeh Prison, Turning What was Going to be my Nobel Prize Science Project into a Sudden Descent into Eldricht Helllllllllllaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahah theMayansDidIttheMayansDidIttheMayansDidIttheMayansDidIt!!!!!!!! "

Re:How are they doing this... (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#42282039)

Agree, I would have hoped they would have used "sterilised water at near boiling point to blast a passage through" one more time. Maybe even spelling it sterilized that last time just to see if people are on their toes.

Re:How are they doing this... (4, Funny)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about a year ago | (#42281625)

sterile or not, isolated for 500,000 years.., now is the time to open Pandora's ice box, 21.12.2012 is approaching.

/s

Re:How are they doing this... (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year ago | (#42282873)

Fuck! You beat me to it. Take heed and bear witness to the plague these men shall unleash upon humanity!!!! Then the draconoids of niburu shall plunder our resources an rape those still alive! Or just some really fucking cool discoveries. Categorically unique fucking cool discoveries...my pants are getting tight.

Re:How are they doing this... (2)

avandesande (143899) | about a year ago | (#42283471)

More importantly, it has been isolated for the amount of time it takes light to travel 500,000 light years.

Re:How are they doing this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284187)

sterile or not, isolated for 500,000 years.., now is the time to open Pandora's ice box, 21.12.2012 is approaching. /s

The good news is they found cold beer.

The bad news is they also found a black hole that sucked away any chances of it turning into a full-blown kegger.

Pandora. Talk about the anti-party. What a bitch.

Re:How are they doing this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284547)

sterile or not, isolated for 500,000 years.., now is the time to open Pandora's ice box, 21.12.2012 is approaching. /s

In 2012 war was beginning...

Re:How are they doing this... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281755)

I really want to see this Modded +5 redundant. Can we please make this happen?

Re:How are they doing this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281613)

How many scientists, a dozen?

Temp? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281811)

From the summary I understand they are using water to bore the hole. I didn't see the temperature of the water that is being used. Shouldn't they also use sterile water to prevent contamination?

Re:Temp? (2)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#42281931)

If, unlike the typical /.er, you took the time to actually read the article and not just the summary, you would know that it takes 12 people to do this sort of thing.

Re:How are they doing this... (4, Funny)

Twigmon (1095941) | about a year ago | (#42282705)

Re:How are they doing this... (1)

Psicopatico (1005433) | about a year ago | (#42284539)

This story brings the concept of dupe to a whole new level!
For your convenience, a copy of the story is injected inside the story, so you don't have to remember where you've already read it and neither have to click on another link (a real boon for the lazy).

Yo dawg and all the rest applies.

Re:How are they doing this... (1)

RMingin (985478) | about a year ago | (#42283219)

I sincerely doubt that they are using sterilised water at near boiling point to blast a passage through the ice to waters isolated for up to half a million years.

Questions from the summary (5, Funny)

orson_of_fort_worth (871181) | about a year ago | (#42281325)

The summary wasn't clear so my questions are: Is the water sterilized? How hot is the water in the hose? How long has the lake water been isolated? Also, Is the water sterilized? How hot is the water in the hose? How long has the lake water been isolated?

Re:Questions from the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281473)

The summary wasn't clear so my questions are: Is the water sterilized? How hot is the water in the hose? How long has the lake water been isolated?

Also, Is the water sterilized? How hot is the water in the hose? How long has the lake water been isolated?

But also how many scientists are involved on the team?

the alzhiemer is kicking in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281335)

the day i forget my pills...

Re:the alzhiemer is kicking in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283357)

the day i forget my pills...

Good luck kicking Alzheimers. Oops I forgot.

Great summary (3, Funny)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year ago | (#42281365)

I dodn't even need to red it twice to see that a team of scientists is using is sterilised water at near boiling point.

Indeed; using sterilised water at near boiling point.

yes but - (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281979)

they are using sterilised water at near boiling point! near boiling point man!

Re:Great summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283695)

Did you say boiling point? At what pressure? Does sterilized mean chemically pure or cleansed of life by some cruder methods?

Stargate (1)

Lanforod (1344011) | about a year ago | (#42281371)

Great. Finally going to find a Stargate. Abydos here we come...

Re:Stargate (2)

Kierthos (225954) | about a year ago | (#42281403)

Nah. The fools will end up releasing some shoggoths.

Re:Stargate (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282049)

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

Now we know... (3, Informative)

Local ID10T (790134) | about a year ago | (#42282515)

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

You took the words right out of my mouth!

Now we know what the Mayans were predicting:
  The scientists wake Cthulhu, R'lyeh rises, and the world ends.

Re:Now we know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284417)

And about time.

Re:Now we know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42285139)

You've lost some details in translation. Actually it is: high-pressure sterilised water at near boiling point wakes Cthulhu isolated for up to 3 kalabtuns, R'lyeh rises, and the world ends.

And here is where the film begins. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281375)

You know, that film where we found alien pyramids and predators and xenos were going at it? Yeah, that one, the one that people want to forget.

Remember guys, don't let their blood get on your skin, that stuff burns yo.

Re:And here is where the film begins. (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42284333)

the mouth of the parasite xeno looks like a vagina... antarctica here i come :)

Dupe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281475)

Okay, I know slashdot is big on posting dupes, and complaining about them is futile, but...

Really guys? This summary is a dupe of itself!

in b4 AvP jokes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281485)

in b4 AvP jokes. due to repeat in summary. due to repeat in summary.

Mayans (1)

smitsco (677534) | about a year ago | (#42281525)

The first results are going to be available next week. Hmmm. December 21st maybe.

How did the Mayans know someone would drill through two miles of ice to release something that will destroy the world?

Re:Mayans (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281681)

How are they going to drill through 2 miles of ice. That's one heck of a drill bit. That drill bit would have to be almost 2 miles long. That would be a nearly 2 mile long drill bit.
Captcha = informed

FFS, timothy. Proofread already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281563)

Maybe make a point to reread what you may have posted and paraphrased, and you might also want make a point to proofread what you may have posted and paraphrased.

Summary goof was intentional (1)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about a year ago | (#42281611)

It was written that way to catch people who only read half the summary. It's simple math: 2 * 50% = 100%! Foolproof.

Oh no.... (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year ago | (#42281733)

they is gonna sterilize the lake, contaminating it with sterilized water....

In other news more rain forest are being destroyed to build condos.....

Re:Oh no.... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42284365)

i live near a bunch of power stations, which use highly sterilized and purified water to turn to superheated steam to drive the turbines, except that if you drank such water it would strip all the nutrients out of your body and kill you.... purified and sterilized water isn't always as good as it seems (it may well kill any microorganisms the scientists are trying to discover and study)

DUPE (1, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year ago | (#42281817)

I posted a submission on this story a WEEK AGO.

Re:DUPE (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#42282137)

Yours probably didn't clarify with enough clarity the clearness that this article clearly has.

But I feel your pain.

Re:DUPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282243)

I posted a submission on this story a WEEK AGO.

Impressive, because a week ago they hadn't started drilling. Yes, I'd rather have a serious discussion about this article, but it's obviously not going to happen with the screwed up submission.

Re:DUPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282969)

But did you make two submissions?

Re:DUPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282987)

You probably weren't clear enough about the fact that they are using sterilised water at near boiling point to blast a passage through the ice to waters isolated for up to half a million years

Possible Outcomes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42281897)

Has anyone considered the impact of releasing some kind of spider resistant to both extremely cold and extremely hot water? I think maybe we should reconsider this experiment.

Re:Possible Outcomes (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#42282189)

Yes, if the lake is actually filled with millions of giant underwater ice spiders, and 0.1% of them have a genetic variation that makes them resistant to sterilized boiling water, then that 0.1% can survive the trip to the surface. Thus creating a dual resistance super bug(literally, or you might technically say spiders are not bug, meh).

Re:Possible Outcomes (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42284369)

you're obviously talking about a xenomorph

...and ripley isn't even born yet... we're so fucked

Cthulhu - Just in time (1)

7bit (1031746) | about a year ago | (#42281963)

Awesome. Awakening Cthulhu from its icy slumber right on schedule!

Should give it just enough time to consume all our souls by midnight 12/21/2012 after it's awakening and release. Wait.. This drilling project wasn't funded by a kickstarter project was it?

Re:Cthulhu - Just in time (4, Insightful)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#42282205)

If not, someone should perhaps start some projects like this, such that doomsday cults funnel their money into useful research projects. Win-win for everyone, unless the cult turns out to be right.

Re:Cthulhu - Just in time (2)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#42282255)

Just to clarify, the second win is because the cult used their money for something useful, and has less money left to do silly things with, such as buying Nike's, barbiturates, and Vodka.

If you do something but don't make a profit . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282153)

Good job, Science! Frack that lake.

Pure Bob and Ray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282167)

The repetition makes the story sound like a routine by the great comedy team Bob and Ray.

One particularly enduring routine cast Elliott as an expert on the Komodo dragon, and Goulding as the dense reporter whose questions trailed behind the information given.

Here's an example:

KOMODO DRAGON EXPERT: We have two in this country, two Komodo dragons, which were given to us some years ago by the late former premier of Indonesia, Sukarno.

INTERVIEWER: I believe I read somewhere where a foreign potentate gave America some Komodo dragons. Is that true?

http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.ca/2010/04/bob-and-ray-tonight-worlds-largest.html [blogspot.ca]

Nice post there Timothy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42282441)

Keep up the good work.

Redux? (1)

courcoul (801052) | about a year ago | (#42282449)

Hadn't the Russians done this already, on their side of Antartica?

Or is this a different subglacial lake?

Re:Redux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283935)

I thought that was the Arctic.

Re:Redux? (3, Informative)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#42285271)

Well, technically the russians haven't quite breached the lake. It's ongoing right now and here's what I've followed so far:
The layer of ice just above the lake is refrozen water (and not compressed snow from above). They already analyzed that without finding anything significant (a US lab found lots of stuff but the word is that it's all contaminated DNA, a french lab found only one candidate piece of DNA, that ice is 10 times cleaner than the cleanest water we can make in a lab).
So a few days ago the russians breached the last remaining ice after using a sterilized drill. They then withdrew the drill and immediately lowered the pressure of the drilling fluid, allowing the water of the lake to raise into the hole for 600 meters. This water froze quickly. Now they are drilling again this freshly frozen ice which will be analyzed in a special very clean lab. I just don't know how they can drill again 600m of ice without deviating more than 10cm (the diameter of the core).
Official results should start coming in about a month.

ahhhhh (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year ago | (#42282613)

Release the kracken..... release the kraken

Re:ahhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284605)

Release the kracken..... release the kraken

Wait, let me guess...through a krack in the ice? Oh man, I almost...fell for that one.

oblig (3, Funny)

kid_wonder (21480) | about a year ago | (#42283121)

in soviet russia the summary repeats the summary ..

oh wait a seco...

seco (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284179)

That is the second time in a s many days I have read seco being substituted for second. Odd how an imaginary 13 year old explosives expert has effected internet culture.

Frack it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283385)

Come on, let's go all the way, baby!

Timothy you are a (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283479)

Timothy you are a fucking retard. Timothy you are a fucking retard.

SyFy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283635)

Why does this sound like the beginning of a SyFy movie? Antarctic Armageddon starring Tiffany and Debbie Gibson.

Third Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283699)

...as predicted by the Dead Sea Scrolls

Better sites PLEASE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283895)

I can't take this site anymore, these posts have gone from ridiculous to absurd. Could someone send me to some better slashdot'esque sites please?

Not To Worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42283949)

Murphy's Law will emerge, along with that gnarled and very ugly head, to protect us all.

XD

Re:Not To Worry (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42284391)

its antarctica... the land of 12 people rocking up and thinking they're going to make a big hole and do something awesome and eventually not doing much except trying to survive the most hostile environment on earth until a boat comes and takes them home or they die

About time (1)

MakersDirector (2767101) | about a year ago | (#42284343)

Finally releasing the story about the Stargate find in the Antarctic! It's about time!

I wonder if they'll discuss the Alien / Predator issue?

Stop complaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42284747)

The editors were doing twice the work by repeating what they wrote before. By that I mean, that the editors did twice the work by not paying attention to what they put up as summary.

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