Warm hollowed-out cave systems under Antarctica glaciers could host a variety of life, Australian researchers recently discovered. Analyses of soil samples from caves around the area of Mount Erebus, an active volcano on Ross Island, yielded DNA from algae, mosses, and small animals. Most, but not all, of the DNA could be identified—also creating speculation that there might be new (or previously “lost”) species living there.
One of the most mysterious and coldest places on Earth, the icy continent is roughly the size of the United States and Mexico combined, and has a population around 1,000-5,000 (mostly researchers). It has also been the subject of a number of myths and theories concerning “lost worlds”—lore that these recent discoveries tantalizingly revive.