Scientists finally unraveled the mystery of Antarctica’s blood falls


Think of what you would do if what you saw was apparently a waterfall of blood. Yeah, you’d probably freak out and be on your heels. Nevertheless, Australian geologist Griffith Taylor was fearless and courageous when he encountered Blood Falls of the Dry Valleys McMurdo in Victoria Land, East Antarctica in 1911. Hence, it was named after him “Taylor Glacier”.
However, since the discovery of this red flowing liquid, scientists have been mystified by it. Fortunately for them, they’ve eventually figured it and they discovered it wasn’t blood after all as some people would have thought.
Taylor had expressed the view that it was as an effect of algae colorations which washed into the ice-covered surface of the West Lake Bonney because some algae can actually cause similar colorations.
An analysis which was carried out in 2003 became the stepping-stone for new discoveries which confirmed that algae weren’t the cause of the rubicund flow, neither was it blood. It was discovered that the water has a high level of iron atoms, which turn ruddy once exposed to air (turn into iron oxide popularly called rust)
Interestingly, figuring out the cause of the red coloration did not end the mystery. It was assumed that the water flows from an ancient source which was assumed to be not less than 5 million years old.
Scientists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks were in a position to examine the region around Taylor Glacier using radio-echo sounding. The researchers found a subglacial lake and a network of flowing water with both high salt content and iron. The elevated level of salinity (brine) of the water prevents it from freezing. The source of saltwater is the subglacial lack of about 1300 ft. (long distance from its tiny outlet at Blood Falls).
According to Researchers, Taylor Glacier is the first known example of water outflow in a glacier. With this research, one could effortlessly comprehend how water can persist inside other cold glaciers.