Jan 23, 2019 | Updated: 04:07 PM EST

Antarctica's Secret: Blood Falls Century-Old Mystery In Taylor Valley Solved By Researchers

Apr 26, 2017 02:49 PM EDT


Blood Falls found in Taylor Valley, Antarctica has a century-old mystery that baffles scientists up until now. However, the mystery where could possibly the red waterfall come from was recently reported to be solved already by researchers.

According to Mail Online, the Blood Falls was first discovered by Australian geologist Griffith Taylor in 1911. Taylor was also the first to explore the valley and thus getting the glacier named after him. Upon discovering the Blood Falls, theories have been rampant.

The first theory that was mentioned is that the Blood Falls came from red algae. While another was that the red waterfall flowing from the Taylor Glacier was a result of iron oxides. Nonetheless, the latter concluded by a team led by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College was deemed as the solution to the mystery.

“The aptly named Blood Falls is an intermittent outflow of iron-rich brine that hosts an active microbial community; the brine discharges at the surface on the northern side of Taylor Glacier staining the ice red and depositing a red-orange apron of frozen brine, which aggrades with each brine outflow event and partially degrades in the summer warm period,” the study published in the Journal of Glaciology stated per The Sun.

The study then concluded that the iron oxides precipitate when the iron-bearing suboxic brine comes in contact with oxygen. The team also discovered that the Taylor Glacier where the Blood Falls could be seen has a consistently flowing water. The flowing water was found to come from a large source of salt water trapped under the ice for one million years.

The team solved the Blood Falls mystery and detected the unknown lake beneath it by using radio-echo sounding, a radar method that uses two antennas. The first antenna to transmit electrical pulses while the other receives the signals.

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