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Scientists have solved century-old secret of Antarctica’s Blood Falls

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Can you imagine how a salty blood-red water stream can flow into a Glacier? Hopefully, you are completely puzzled. You are not the alone; even many scientists were searching the sign of this rare mystery. Now the latest study suggests that they have solved this century old mystery behind this Blood falls.

This blood red water flow was discovered by Griffith Taylor in 1911. He has found 54 KM long glacier in the northern region of Antarctica known as Taylor Glacier. He had seen the deep red liquid flow into it. At that time he ascribed the strange event to red algae coloring, the moving water.

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The researchers named it quickly as ‘Blood Falls’, as it was a red water flow against its ice-cold white surroundings.

Blood Falls is situated in the northern region of 1.5 million old Taylor Glacier and flows into Lake Bonney. At that time many geoscientists were clueless. Later they found that this mysterious flow was not related to blood or algae. This blood red color is due to iron-rich salt water. When it contacts with the air, it turns into a reddish-brown color or oxidizes. They named it as ‘Brine’ as it contains the huge quantity of salt in it.

But now this saltiness has given the most vital clue into one of Blood Falls’s concluding mysteries. Now they have got the answer, how this brine travels across this ice-covered glacier in sub-zero temperature. Because before this most of them thought that it is impossible for liquid water to travel into an ice-cold glacier. Even none of us will believe on this, how water could exist into a glacier.

The scientist from University of Alaska and Fairbanks claims that they have solved the century-old mystery. Using radio echo sounding, they have outlined the 91M path on this glacier. This is the kind process that uses antennae to send and receive electrical signals.

As per the press release, they said that we traced the antennae around the glacier in grid-like patterns. This helped them to see what is inside the ice crust. It is similar to a bat that uses echolocation to find the things around it.

Using this process, they have traced the origin of reddish brine which flows into an old salty lake. Now it is no more mystery. The scientists have trapped the secret which was buried into the Taylor Glacier since millions of years ago.

The team has discovered that the glacier had its own unique system of pressurized channels. This allows the flow of iron rich water on the top of Blood Falls.

Erin Pettit, from the University of Alaska Fairbank, said that these facts are very important. These facts explain the flow of liquid water through an ice-cold glacier. The freezing method itself and capability of salty liquid to freeze at the lower temperature can reveal the flow of water with the mean annual temperature of -17 °C.

She further added that it sounds contradictory as liquid water release heat when it freezes. And that heat warms the premises of colder ice. Taylor Glacier is now the coldest glacier which is known to have the constant flow of water.

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