The find was made near Russia’s scientific research station in East Antarctica. In the Nineties, scientists drilled down into this area to discover what is known as Lake Vostok. But their work stopped just short of hitting the water, due to concerns over spoiling what could be a “pristine” ecosystem, leaving a number of unanswered questions, Amazon Prime’s “Forbidden Mysteries” revealed.
Narrator David Taylor said in 2018: “In the Seventies, via airborne radar, Russia began to suspect that they had inadvertently built their base at the tip of a large sub-glacial lake.
“In the years since orbital radar mapping, combined with surface seismological measurements have confirmed that Lake Vostok, under two miles of solid ice, is the largest lake discovered in the last 100 years.
“Roughly the size of Lake Ontario, but much deeper in places, more than 3,000 feet, and about four times the volume.
“The lake, which is still liquid and not frozen, has been isolated under the ice sheets since anywhere from 13,000 to 14 million years ago, depending on who you talk to.
“The water in the lake, determined by surface thermal scans ranges from 10C to 18C, clearly indicating a subterranean heat source.”
Mr Taylor went on to detail exactly what they found in the drilled hole.
He continued: “In addition, the whole lake is covered by a sloping air dome several thousand feet high that’s formed from the hot water melting the overlying ice just above the lake surface.
“Core samples taken by the Russians have revealed the presence of microbes, nutrients and various gases like methane embedded in the clear refrozen lake water just above the dome.
“Such items are typical signatures of biological processes, the lake, therefore, has all the ingredients of an incredible scientific find – a completely isolated ecosystem, water, heat, respired gases and current biological activity.
READ MORE: Antarctica shock: Bizarre ‘heat source’ coming from three miles below ice revealed
“As the actual scope and composition of the lake became clear, NASA began to see it as an ideal testbed for its plans to drill through the ice and search the oceans of Jupiter’s moon Europa.”
The mission was cancelled over concerns of environmental contamination, but scans of the area since have revealed something more baffling.
Mr Taylor explained: “A team of scientists from Columbia University, working under the auspices of the National Science Foundation began a series of unprecedented low-altitude aerial surveys over Lake Vostok designed to chart gravitational magnetic and thermal activity under the ice.
“While doing so they made a stunning find.
“A huge magnetic anomaly was discovered covering the entire southeast portion of the shore of the lake.
“This remarkable anomaly could not have of course been caused by natural processes.”
Scientists are still unsure of what the magnetic anomaly is.
Mr Taylor concluded: “One implausible possibility, voiced by Columbia’s Michael Studinger, is that the Earth’s crust near the lake is simply thinner under this section of the Antarctic having been stretched during the formation of the lakebed itself.