Blood Falls in Antarctica

When we imagine Antarctica, we imagine in our imagination the absolute and endless whiteness of snow and ice, except for which there is nothing around. But nature loves surprises. One of them is the Bloody Falls, flowing among the permafrost and dazzling white snows. This is a unique natural creation, this is not found anywhere else.

What does it look like?

Blood Falls is a stream that rapidly falls from a height of 13 meters. Bloody water does not flow constantly, this is a rare occurrence. This happens during the melting of the glacier, when the ice presses on the waters of the lake.

Seen from a distance, the waterfall looks like a bleeding wound. This sight evokes strange emotions. It attracts and repels. It's both beautiful and scary. But it scares you exactly until you realize that the color of water has nothing to do with blood.

Unfortunately, the waterfall is located too far from civilization, so it's hard to get there and see this miracle with your own eyes. And there are few daredevils: the path to the Blood Falls is not an easy one.

Where and when did Blood Falls originate?

The lake, from which water flows, is located in East Antarctica in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a kilometer from the waterfall itself. It is located at a depth of 400 m and covers approximately 4 km of territory in length. Amazing: the water flows upwards! The fact is that the water got out to the top due to the pressure of the subsiding ice. The lake appeared about 3 million years ago. The ocean level dropped, the land was freed from water, but a salt lake appeared in the lowland. Due to the strong evaporation of water, it became more and more salty. As a result, the salinity of the lake became four times greater than that of the ocean waters. It was with this that scientists were able to explain the amazing fact that the water in the lake does not freeze. After icing, the lake turned out to be under an ice roof. Gradually, a glacier appeared, which now bears the name Taylor.

How did you find Blood Falls?

This unique natural phenomenon was discovered in 1911 by Griffith Taylor, an Australian traveler who participated in the British Antarctic Expedition. It is difficult to imagine what he experienced when he suddenly saw a stream of blood pouring from the ice. The news of this discovery spread throughout the world, and research groups came here one after another. Photos, which appeared in print media and on the Internet, brought resounding fame to this place, although the flow of tourists did not follow here. The waterfall was named Bloody, and the icy cliff was named Taylor Glacier.

Gift to Researchers

In 2018, East Antarctica was named the coldest place on the world map. The Bloody Falls proves that life exists in any conditions, even the most incredible and harsh, even where it seems completely impossible.

Back in the 60s of the last century, scientists thought about subglacial lakes and dreamed of taking samples. But it was difficult to implement without damaging their ecosystem. The waterfall that burst out to the top became a real gift for them, it saved them from the need for a rude and dangerous intervention in the under-ice world.

The Dry Valley is located not far from the waterfall. There is a laboratory in which scientists study how organisms survive in such a climate. The study of the unusual lake allowed them to learn a lot of new things. Having studied the under-ice world well, scientists will be able to draw conclusions about other planets with similar conditions.

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