As readers of Frozen Secrets already know, Antarctica’s subglacial lakes—those bodies of liquid water that lie thousands of feet beneath continental ice sheets—are truly Earth’s unexplored frontiers. They are time capsules containing pristine examples of environments that have been unchanged and uncontaminated since the ice above them formed millions of years ago.
In Frozen Secrets, readers were left hanging, with Russian scientists poised to drill into Lake Vostok, a subglacial lake equivalent in size to one of the Great Lakes. We had no choice: the scientists ran out of summertime, the only season where work of this nature can be carried out. We, at Carolrhoda, had to meet a print deadline for the book. But now, a new page in Antarctica’s continuing story has been turned.
On February 8, 2012, Russian scientists publically announced they have drilled into the surface of Lake Vostok and water samples have pushed up into the drill core and been retrieved. This is scientific history in the making. We are on the verge of breathtaking discoveries. And what if life is found in the water? Let’s just say it will push the phrase “extreme living” to the max.
-Sally M. Walker