Russian Scientists Drilling into "Alien" Antarctic Lake Vostok Fall Silent

Vostok Station

Todd Sowers LDEO, Columbia University

At Lake Vostok, the coldest place on earth, a Russian team of scientists have been attempting to drill through a two-mile-thick ice layer into the subterranean lake, which has been isolated for some 20 million years. But the team has not been heard from for five days, according to a report by the Global Post.

The ancient, pristine cache of fresh water below the miles of ice is a unique environment. It may be supersaturated with dissolved gases and geyser up when the drill penetrates the last few feet. It may also hold unknown lifeforms, such as ancient extremophile bacteria. We anxiously await word.