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Water Isolated for Over a Billion Years Found Under Ontario

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the secret-illuminati-hideout dept.

Earth 207

ananyo writes "Scientists working 2.4 kilometers below Earth's surface in a Canadian mine have tapped a source of water that has remained isolated for at least a billion years. The researchers say they do not yet know whether anything has been living in it all this time, but the water contains high levels of methane and hydrogen — the right stuff to support life. Micrometer-scale pockets in minerals billions of years old can hold water that was trapped during the minerals' formation. But no source of free-flowing water passing through interconnected cracks or pores in Earth's crust has previously been shown to have stayed isolated for more than tens of millions of years (paper abstract)."

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207 comments

It is time (5, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43742463)

If you need me, I will be in my hermetically sealed Doomsday Bunker, just in case a vicious and contagious disease emerges.

Re:It is time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742655)

pffft....have you seen/smelled/sensed how dirty french people are? The worst alien contagion will be like a mere rhino virus to them.....

Re:It is time (5, Informative)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43742685)

I hope you got it at a discount, 'cause those things can't be used, and diseases can only attack things they co-evolve with. This water is 1.5 billion years old. Plants appeared on land only 1.2 billion years ago. Animals evolved less than 700 million years ago. Just like the with Lake Vostok [slashdot.org] article from a couple of months ago, all anyone does by making that joke is showing that a meme from bad science fiction is still alive. Please stop. You're hurting yourself. This is the biology equivalent of saying the LHC makes black holes.

Re:It is time (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743163)

+1 Informative
-1 Whoosh

Captcha: politics

Re:It is time (5, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43743529)

No, no whoosh today—you'll recall that Slashdot users made jokes about the LHC black hole thing, too. I even used the word "joke" in my post!

The thing is, culture (especially Western culture) is full of paranoid anxieties about science. From Frankenstein to Terminator, there's always some cynical writer somewhere creating dystopias because pain sells. The longer these ideas remain embedded in culture, the more chance they have to affect public opinion. Eventually this causes a distrust in science to fester, and that's something we need to stand against if we're ever going to survive the next century. I'm generally fine with making young-earth creationism jokes (I've had more than a few myself) because people here are sufficiently well-informed to be able to recite the truth.

But after a certain point it gets worrying that the first response to "look, a glimpse into the ancient past!" is "quick, call CEDA [wikia.com] !" What experience does Sparticus789 actually have with biology? If he(?) encounters someone who genuinely believes a George Romero-style outbreak could happen at any moment, what would he say to rebuff them? Would he even have the confidence to speak up? Enough parroting of a meme can kill knowledge of the truth, and at the very least, that must be guarded against. With biology this is particularly sensitive because most people know only a very little amount about it, and yet embracing or rejecting biological research stands to affect us immensely in the future.

So +1 for speaking up, but -1 for reducing that to "whoosh."

Re:It is time (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43744325)

The thing is, culture (especially Western culture) is full of paranoid anxieties about science. From Frankenstein to Terminator, there's always some cynical writer somewhere creating dystopias because pain sells. The longer these ideas remain embedded in culture, the more chance they have to affect public opinion.

Well, to be fair some dystopia novels do serve as a good hard warning. As a non-scientific political/ideological example, I present 1984, written precisely at a time when all the intelligentsia were eager to create a global socialistic (albeit not quite communist) utopia.

Same with science, really. I'll set it up to explain why:

75 years ago, scientists were handling radioactive elements like they were as harmless as lumps of play-doh, and every 'good' mother was out there bathing their kids' feet in X-rays for shoe-fitting, at dosages/levels that today would get your kids snatched away by Protective Services if they found out. Eventually, we learned about things like radiation poisoning (though TBH it took a freakin' atomic bomb or two going off before anyone outside of a few select physicists even knew what that was). In other news, during that same time period Eugenics was once considered a solid (and even respected) science... and we all know where that went. The sad part is, that's nothing compared to the almost countless examples of treating science as panacea, without an eye towards ethics or morals, or even caution.

While no, you're not going to spawn a black hole at LHC (the laws of nature are rather resilient against that, and the entire Earth hasn't enough mass to make one), there are some good, hard uses for dystopian fantasy-type warnings. Human genetics stands out as a pretty good one - while I certainly wouldn't expect a 60-foot-tall man-slaying homonculus to come out of it (hell, it wouldn't survive gestation), I can see how genetic mucking-around can open whole populations up to pathogen immunity problems** and eventual congenital defects, among other things - and I haven't even touched on the ethics of the situation.

Besides, some damned good sci-fi has come out of dystopian views of hard science, and yet somehow hasn't retarded scientific progress in spite of it.

Overall, I guess the only reason I'm defending the dystopian genre isn't because I like the topic matter (let's face it, there's a lot of crap novels out there that try to use it), but because it does serve an important watchdog function. Sure, we think we've evolved beyond superstition, but honestly? It doesn't matter how frickin' much we've evolved, because we have yet to evolve beyond human failings: greed, avarice, lust, hatred, etc. So unless your name is Mother Teresa, you suffer from these as much as I do (and she likely suffered from it too, just that she was really good at controlling them).

** note that such problems would likely require many, many generations to surface.

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743213)

But that is the funny thing about it. The joke IS alive, and it is ridiculing THAT FACT.

"Your sense of humor is off by a few micrometres, I suggest you adjust it sir." - Data, Star Wars 3.

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743613)

But that is the funny thing about it. The joke IS alive, and it is ridiculing THAT FACT.

"Your sense of humor is off by a few micrometres, I suggest you adjust it sir." - Data, Star Wars 3.

Wow, Data was in Star Wars 3? Please either turn in your geek card or put on this red shirt.

Re:It is time (2)

gv250 (897841) | about a year ago | (#43744031)

Wow, Data was in Star Wars 3? Please either turn in your geek card or put on this red shirt.

He didn't say that Data was in Star Wars III. He said that Data was in Star Wars 3!

Of course. Since Star Wars is released in trilogies, and keeping in mind that the episode numbering uses Roman numerals, not Arabic, the obvious numbering scheme (ordered by release date, not in-universe date) is:

  • Star Wars 1
    • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
    • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Star Wars 2
    • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
    • Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
    • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars 3
    • Star Wars Episode VII
    • Star Wars Episode VIII
    • Star Wars Episode IX

So, Data will make an appearance in Star Wars 3, probably episode VIII or IX, after Disney buys the Star Trek franchise. Why else would they hire JJ Abrams to direct Episode VII, but to secretly lay the groundwork for the unifying Wars/Trek movie?

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743245)

So you don't have to be aware of a billion year old virus making you ill. But the possibility of ancient bacteria quickly evolving when exposed to present conditions into a creature ala alien or the blob and annihilating your ass isn't totally ruled out.

Don't turn the bunker into an open space just yet. Scientist have been known on many occasions to go 'Its harmless. Oh SHI...........' silence.

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743429)

But the possibility of ancient bacteria quickly evolving when exposed to present conditions into a creature ala alien or the blob and annihilating your ass isn't totally ruled out.

No, but it's about as likely as radiation exposure giving you superpowers.

Re: It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743883)

Would you consider cancer to be a superpower?

Re:It is time (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43743899)

It really is. Organisms in a stagnant environment adapt to that niche and then... do nothing. We had this exact argument on the Vostok article.

Re:It is time (0)

citylivin (1250770) | about a year ago | (#43743299)

You are claiming that whatever life down there has 0% chance of interacting with us in any way, possibly harmfully?

How could you possibly know so much about unknown life. You can't. You can't say the possibility of it interacting with some form of life is non exsistent. Especially if you believe in panspermia, that all life in the universe will be somewhat similar because it has somewhat similar origins.

Re:It is time (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43744167)

Oh, sure, it can interact with us. It can interact with us just like tree pollen does: it can bounce off, it can get washed away in a pool of mucus, it can get embedded in earwax, it can get clobbered by a macrophage and digested in a lysosome... those are all forms of interaction!

1.5 billion years ago is 1.5 billion years behind in an arms race—an arms race that is comprised entirely of exploiting vulnerabilities in a hardened enemy. This organism is not used to human physiological conditions. It is not used to the human immune system. Hell, it may even pre-date the concept of complex multicellular life. The idea that the systems could be compatible is, statistically, laughable. It is less than a rounding error.

Biology is not a horror movie, and it is not a computer. Fiction has lied to you.

Personally, I'm a fan of panspermia, but the fossil record goes back so far that what arrived on Earth would necessarily have to be extremely simple; possibly just a handful of nucleic acids (or analogous) with no envelope. Such organisms would be ridiculously delicate, and most likely destroyed instantly by RNases if they were exposed to the modern atmosphere on Earth.

Re:It is time (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43743357)

and diseases can only attack things they co-evolve with

There are other reasons why these reservoirs are unlikely to contain pathogens, but your reasons are wrong. One of the most frequent ways in which new diseases appear is when they jump to a species that has no defenses against them. That's because our immune system isn't all powerful, it only really protects us against variants of pathogens we actually encounter in nature.

Re:It is time (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43744191)

That's still co-evolution, just with a bit of a gap. "Things" is a nice, vague word. The tree of life still puts limits on how far pathogens can jump.

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743391)

Why do humorless wet blankets always have to suck all the fun out of everything?

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743455)

You don't know that for absolute certain.
There could have been a lifeform back then that had the lethality of the plague and the transmissible abilities of the worst flus.
Life back then was very different to what we have now. What we could find down here could rewrite history, if anything lives.
Our evolutional timescale could be off by millions of years, we simply do not know yet. Only by digging more to find such underground structures may we ever know for sure.

All something would need is a way to attack some very base mechanism that evolution cannot defend against and it is sorted.
Or at worst case scenario, something evolution either evolved away or lost.
There could be multiple lifeforms down there that have been evolving beside each other all that time and fighting for what little resources are there.
How do you know for certain that those things couldn't have evolved some way to get past immune systems of humans?
You realize human (most even) immune systems are based on known attack vectors, right? Unknown ones very often lead to death or severe illness.
We don't even know fully how the immune system works, how well it can detect unknown threats or the capabilities of life back then.
Evolution has surprised us before. It will certainly do it again and again. That bag of tricks is larger than a city.

ALWAYS treat something as worst case scenario. Especially when it is an unknown.
Not doing such things created that mess SARS, not doing that caused dangerous Flu strains to escape.
What Ifs save millions of lives. What Nows don't do much as something loses its momentum naturally in most cases, or gets spread regardless, like with the SARS outbreak. (people spread that thing around like crazy by being lazy)
There is a reason regulations like this exist in the UN and many other governing bodies. A massive outbreak anywhere could be a disaster.
Something that could have been lost to evolution for BILLIONS of years could well be a disaster.
You never know until it is too late. Suit up, barricade and get that antibiotic sprayed all over, it's going to be a surprisingly calm ride.

Re:It is time (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43744337)

There could have been a lifeform back then that had the lethality of the plague and the transmissible abilities of the worst flus.

This is an oxymoron for most pathogens. Highly lethal diseases kill too quickly to be transmitted. Certain parasites like Malaria are capable of delaying their impact, but that is only possible because they have spent a long time co-evolving to kill mammals.

Life back then was very different to what we have now. What we could find down here could rewrite history, if anything lives.
Our evolutional timescale could be off by millions of years, we simply do not know yet. Only by digging more to find such underground structures may we ever know for sure.

Without a doubt this is a very important find, but it won't be so world-shattering that the layperson would be affected by it. We have a fairly good idea of what life was like prior to this point in time because of fossil records.

All something would need is a way to attack some very base mechanism that evolution cannot defend against and it is sorted.

Humans already have this. It's called stomach acid, but it doesn't work that well. (If for some reason the organisms we find in the pool use acid-base chemistry as a defence mechanism, that will be worth noting.) Evolution has found ways to defend against ice crystals, a complete vacuum, severe radiation, and temperatures hot enough to boil water. There's nothing it can't defend against. That's why organisms generally work by attacking weaknesses in each other; they yield better results and they're more easy to mutate spontaneously. In order to get past the passive immune system, you have to be at least a little prepared for how mammals work.

There could be multiple lifeforms down there that have been evolving beside each other all that time and fighting for what little resources are there.

And they would evolve in a trajectory completely different from anything we've ever known, totally dependent on the high methane concentrations and hence helpless in our nearly methaneless atmosphere.

Evolution has surprised us before. It will certainly do it again and again. That bag of tricks is larger than a city.

Evolution's surprises never make for good movie plots. The most horrible things that can happen to humans have been happening to them for hundreds of thousands of years, if not longer.

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743481)

unless it attacks some key DNA sequence that bacteria had a billion years ago... and that key DNA sequence was so terribly important that nearly everything living on the planet has it.... and attacking that DNA sequence is terribly bad (turns every living thing on the planet into fast zombies... 28 days later).

Re:It is time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743551)

A.) He was making a joke. It's OK, you can laugh. B.) Do you really think that it is COMPLETELY outside the realm of possibility that other life, albeit segregated from us for such a long period of time, might still find us a potentially great place to live inside. Implausible maybe. Impossible not so much. It's not like we're talking life from another planet, so wildly different from us, that there is almost no hope of them viewing us as food or vice versa.

Re:It is time (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43744025)

Yes. Yes it is. It was another planet at the time; plants hadn't even arrived on land yet. I feel conversations like this go to underscore just how little understanding of biology is actually common knowledge. Every parasite you've ever heard of has co-evolved with humans or some other similar animal for millions of years. The truth is, human body is great at dealing with unexpected environmental problems. If it isn't evolved to harm us directly, then the worst it can do is trigger a pollen allergy, or act like some other nuisance pollutant.

Re:It is time (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about a year ago | (#43743895)

And I suppose saying that the world is only 6000 years old is the biology equivalent of Narnia? I think the water they found is also 6000 years old, but the intelligent creator made it appear to be older to see ho will doubt him.
The intelligent creator also provided me, a man, with nipples, so maybe some day's he is just drunk or just not /that/ intelligent ;-D

The Andromeda, Strains Logic (4, Funny)

neoshroom (324937) | about a year ago | (#43742863)

Generally parasites co-evolve with their hosts. Because of this, it is actually fairly unlikely to unearth some vicious ancient virus from waters a billion years old. Billions of years ago all that existed was bacteria [imgur.com] and the oldest viruses [telegraph.co.uk] we know about go back only hundreds of millions of years. [livescience.com]

That said I fully endorse your Hermetic [wikipedia.org] seal [wikipedia.org] and wish you well in your initiating our flippered friends into the alchemic ways.

3. Profit (5, Funny)

Bosconian (158140) | about a year ago | (#43742479)

Bottle it.
Then sell it at $50 a pop with dubious claims about health benefits.

"Billioneia Aquifer" - You can taste the years.

Re:3. Profit (5, Funny)

EGenius007 (1125395) | about a year ago | (#43743067)

Pfft, you obviously need to sell the homeopathic version that's been diluted 10,000x to be even more effective.

Re:3. Profit (1)

tinkerton (199273) | about a year ago | (#43744283)

Pfft, you obviously need to sell the homeopathic version that's been diluted 10,000x to be even more effective.

What, a dilution factor 2C or 4X? That won't be very potent [ritecare.com] . They'll think your'e a quack!

Re:3. Profit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744119)

They already do bottle it. It's on your store shelves labeled "Moosehead".

How much is Perrier willing to pay for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742485)

You know, to further reasearch.

Nice try.... (4, Funny)

krovisser (1056294) | about a year ago | (#43742489)

Where they there to see it trapped? Then how do they know!?

Re:Nice try.... (1)

bunratty (545641) | about a year ago | (#43742555)

I suppose you could say that about anything that happened over 120 years ago.

Re:Nice try.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742885)

I say that about anything that happened more 36 years ago, including the 2-3 years after my birth that I don't remember. And for many things, I say that if people claim it was around more than a week ago and I forgot about it.

Re:Nice try.... (4, Informative)

Buggz (1187173) | about a year ago | (#43742615)

Where they there to see it trapped? Then how do they know!?

I see you're keeping slashdot's tradition of not reading TFA. Here's what the very short article says about that:

To date the water, the team used three lines of evidence, all based on the relative abundances of various isotopes of noble gases present in the water. The authors determined that the fluid could not have contacted Earth's atmosphere — and so been at the planet's surface — for at least 1 billion years, and possibly for as long as 2.64 billion years, not long after the rocks it flows through formed.

Re:Nice try.... (5, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#43742645)

I'm pretty sure GPP is making fun of Ken Ham's thought-stopping advice to his followers [google.com] , which is supposed to immediately make "evolutionists" stop dead in their tracks, fall down on their knees, pray for forgiveness, and embrace the obvious Truth. Or something like that.

Re:Nice try.... (3, Funny)

Buggz (1187173) | about a year ago | (#43742713)

I still have to wait four minutes before I get to drink my freshly made coffee. Maybe it'll make the whoosh hurt less than the facepalm. :/

Re:Nice try.... (4, Informative)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#43742621)

Based on what I read:

They looked at the decay of radioactive atoms found in the water and calculated that it had been bottled up for a long time — at least 1.5 billion years

They found that the water is rich in dissolved gases like hydrogen, methane and different forms of noble gases such as helium, neon, argon and xenon.

They say there is as much hydrogen in the water as around hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean.

Re:Nice try.... (3, Informative)

SupplyMission (1005737) | about a year ago | (#43742681)

You might think that comment was "skeptical" or that it demonstrates your "critical thinking" but really, it was just plain ignorant. Based on this comment, one might reasonably assume you fall in with the kind of douchetards that yell out "42! Haha!" every time a mathematical discussion takes place.

To answer your question, you might start by reading the article. It talks about isotopes and geochemistry.

Then you could do some reading at the library to find out more about isotopes and geochemistry, and why these things are interesting and important. If you want to go further, you could take an undergraduate degree in geology, where you will learn all kinds of strange and wonderful things about the Earth, and how we can know about things that occurred billions of years ago.

Re:Nice try.... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year ago | (#43742715)

You might think that comment was "skeptical" or that it demonstrates your "critical thinking" but really, it was just plain ignorant. Based on this comment, one might reasonably assume you fall in with the kind of douchetards that yell out "42! Haha!" every time a mathematical discussion takes place.

To answer your question, you might start by reading the article. It talks about isotopes and geochemistry.

Then you could do some reading at the library to find out more about isotopes and geochemistry, and why these things are interesting and important. If you want to go further, you could take an undergraduate degree in geology, where you will learn all kinds of strange and wonderful things about the Earth, and how we can know about things that occurred billions of years ago.

In his defense, he was making a joke about ignorance.

Water (2)

VAXcat (674775) | about a year ago | (#43742493)

There is water at the bottom of the ocean!

Re:Water (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43742947)

There is water at the bottom of the ocean!

Still, finding a sample untouched for more than 1.5 Billion years is a once in a lifetime discovery.

Re:Water (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743611)

There is water at the bottom of the ocean!

Still, finding a sample untouched for more than 1.5 Billion years is a once in a lifetime discovery.

If we assume a lifetime is 100 years, that would make it a 1 in 15,000,000 lifetimes discovery.

Re:Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742991)

If there was water at the bottom of the ocean, it would be an endless pit.

Re:Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744015)

actually, the water would get super pressurized into a form of ice, and would in term form a solid core.

This is what is thought to actually happen in ice giants like Uranus and Neptune.

Re:Water (1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about a year ago | (#43743127)

Once in a lifetime.

Re:Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743497)

Only one person gets the joke...and they get modded down. I guess not many people around here remember the Talking Heads?

Re:Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743795)

It didn't get modded down; cyborg_monkey has negative karma. Look at his posting history and you'll see why.

Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#43742523)

I find it hard to believe that Ontario has been so geologically inactive as to leave this water undisturbed for the last billion years.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742545)

We're big-boned you insensitive clod ... besides, if this was Alberta, they'd have polluted it by now digging for oil.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (5, Funny)

StrangeBrew (769203) | about a year ago | (#43742755)

Alberta isn't 'digging' for oil. We are slowly separating British Columbia from the mainland. This will accomplish two things: 1) Provide Alberta with it's own seaports. 2) Ensure those B.C. hippies are physically isolated from the rest of the country.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43742933)

Alberta isn't 'digging' for oil. We are slowly separating British Columbia from the mainland.

Thanks for the laugh.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743073)

*actual funny comment*

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744109)

As of Christy Clark's reelection, this actually sounds pretty reasonable.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744193)

Fine by us as long as you make sure Vancouver's on your side of the divide. We hippies moved to the islands long ago anyways, but still knowing that we're counted in the same group as those whiny self-centred Vancouverites is quite insulting.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742827)

Keep telling yourself this next time your crank your heat to 23 in the winter and drive 5 blocks to the grocery store.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43742949)

Ontario and Québec both have this thing called hydro-electricity, so cranking up to 23 in the winter doesn't apply.

Seriously though... 23? Are you 70 or something?

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743665)

close, 70 is 21. 23 is actually 73.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744177)

No but obviously you have not been too much in ontario in the winters to judge... -25 is normal.

Re:Ontario - Canada's fat, lazy province (2)

Ashenkase (2008188) | about a year ago | (#43742897)

We have this really big, really old, really rocky thing called the Canadian Shield [wikipedia.org] . The mine happens to bore straight down into it as well.

funny its where people MAKE Stuff (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743587)

alberta where they are trying to dig a pit to hell and kill off all the fish and natives is more like your reality and every conservative ive seen is FAT
real FAT

We all know (2)

Silpher (1379267) | about a year ago | (#43742529)

God put it there to rattle our belief..

Re:We all know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742711)

God put it there to rattle our belief..

How absurd. Everyone knows Satan did it.

Isn't this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742587)

Isn't this the plot to those Piranha movies?

In related news: (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742661)

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is said to have been disappointed with the find, but he is confident that continued efforts will eventually locate valuable stores of oil and coal ...

Is it blue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742753)

Amazing - the water was put there the last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup!

They found the lair of the Midgard Serpent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742767)

cue Ragnarok and Wagnerian music..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rmungandr

Re:They found the lair of the Midgard Serpent (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year ago | (#43743287)

cue Ragnarok and Wagnerian music..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rmungandr

or the Well of Urðr

Drill baby drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742783)

Imagine how much more untapped water reserves there might be...DRILL BABY DRILL!!!

Have comics and movies taught us nothing? (2)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year ago | (#43742823)

Seriously, this is just a science-fiction disaster waiting to happen.

I, for one, welcome our new "Thing" overlords.

Re:Have comics and movies taught us nothing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743271)

Have comics and movies taught us nothing?

Sure they have. They've taught us that some people can't separate fiction from reality.

Anomalocaris (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43743159)

It would be cool if an explorer became the first human ever attacked by a live anomalocaris. Oh the movies & games it would spawn...

Measurement exactly? (2, Interesting)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year ago | (#43743361)

How exactly is the time calculated? Does anyone know? I mean I have heard of several methods, from carbon dating to a few others, however this one is a bit exotic. It is not explained in either the article nor the paper, but only references another paper as which title seems to say potential method, which doesn't sound awfully conclusive.

They mention the encapsulating rock formations are billions of years old, and I can get behind that analysis, but it is my understanding that you can find billion year old rock in a lot of places. How does one date water? How do you know that it has been trapped all that time, and not captured at some point through various geological processes.

The paper references the African goldmine, but they used microbes, which I have to believe they haven't found yet. Something to do with levels of Xenon seems to be indicator, but what does that mean?

Anyway I remain skeptical until I see the details... however the only problem admittedly is the details might be beyond my level of comprehension... Still it would be nice to know and at least attempt to explain how this is possible.

the prime monsters er ministers water pit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743439)

this is the prime monsters er ministers water pit

Does this help determine where our water is from? (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | about a year ago | (#43743479)

So, the predominant theory seems to be that the water on Earth came from comets raining down in mass quantities in the early days of the Earth. The samples of this old water source shows a high amount of hydrogen. Could the water here have come from our planet having a lot of H2 that burned/reacted with the O2 we had, creating all our water, instead of being delivered here from the sky?

Re:Does this help determine where our water is fro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743847)

Why in the world does anyone think that all the water on the earth had to arrive there by a single delivery mechanism?

Some water was present during initial formation, some water crashed on to the surface later on than that.

Actually, this article [wikipedia.org] lists five different sources of water, with no reason to believe that just one of them has to be responsible for all the water.

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