The Lost World of Lake Vostok – Review
Location of The Vostok Lake
A Documentary By BBC
For a long time, researchers and scientists from around the world believed, there couldn’t be any liquid water on Antarctic, one of the coldest places on planet where -89 C temperature was recorded on 21st July 1983.
In 1957, Russian researchers installed the first base at the center of this continent, which was about 1000 Kilometers from the coast. Initial task was to measure the thickness of the Ice which was undertaken by Russian Geographer Dr. Andrei Kapitsa. After some research on the surroundings of the base, he suspected the presence of a lake beneath the layer of Ice. Most researchers and scientist remained skeptical. Unfortunately, due to inefficient tools, he was not able to prove his hypothesis by the end of the project. The environmental changes made survival their priority to science and they had to leave to never return.
Later on in 1970’s British researchers took the initiative to explore Vostok, this time with sophisticated tools and equipments. They used Air borne Radars to confirm the hypothesis. Not after long, on 25th December 1974 they discovered something they couldn’t believe. A lake like entity was noted on the radar. However, they were not able to determine its shape and size, until few years ago when a satellite hovering over Antarctica took its images from space. This images lead to conclusion that there was a presence of lake in the center of Antarctic. It was half as big as Wales and its depth was about 500 meters. This discovery made it the largest lake on our planet Earth. Robin Bell, a Geologist, estimated its formation took place about 30 Million years ago[Way before Humans came to existence]. Our planet was a warmer place during those days. Hence there should be various forms of life that might have prevailed on this landscape, remains of which can be found. Not only this, but the life forms which have survived such hostile environment and are present in the lake can have a remarkable influence over our thoughts about life and natural survival tactics.
Adding to it, a satellite, named Galileo, researching Jupiter has found a moon, named Europa, which has similar environment. Hence finding life form, beneath 4Kms of ice on Earth, can unearth several answers about life on other such planets as well. However, the researchers at Vostok encounter a difficulty that can have adverse effect on their project. This leads to immediate halt to the mission for finding a better way. ‘What did they do then?’ I shall leave it for you to find out.
A very well directed documentary about an assumption of a researcher, which became real, with engaging narrations and legitimate sources, leaves you thinking ‘Do we know everything about the planet we are inhibiting?’
Glimpse of The Documentary
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These were a few strange thoughts which came across so far. And I am glad to share it with you. Please let me know if you’ve enjoy reading and should I work on it in future as well.
© 2013 NISARG MEHTA