For 15 million years, Lake Vostok remained untouched, buried 3,768 meters beneath Antarctica. Though the 22-year drilling journey finally reached the subglacial lake, scientists still have to wait until 2013-2014 to extract samples of unfrozen lake water, and have to wait until the end of this year to extract frozen samples. The team plans to explore the lake in 2013-2014 using cameras, probes, and water samplers. The researchers will also be looking for life, and could potentially find specially adapted microorganisms living within the subglacial lake. To better understand the great depth the drilling traveled, as well as what layers of ice the drilling passed through, the journey to the unfrozen subglacial waters of Lake Vostok has been tastefully visualized below.
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