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Scientists Solve Centuries-Old Cold Case of Antarctica’s Blood Falls

Blood-colored water has been pouring out of a 1.5 million-year-old Taylor Glacier, but there is a logical explanation.

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Scientists Solve Centuries-Old Blood Falls Mystery
(National Science Foundation/Peter Rejcek)

Scientists have just cracked a centuries-old cold case: How blood-colored water has been pouring out of a 1.5 million-year-old glacier in Antarctica.

The area on the glacier, known as Blood Falls, was first discovered in the 1900s by Australian geologist, Griffith Taylor. The glacier has since been known as the Taylor Glacier. Just why the glacier bleeds like a rare porterhouse has baffled scientists since then. That is, until now.

According to an American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers hailing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College published findings in the Journal of Glaciology that present “evidence [that] links Blood Falls to a large source of salty water that may have been trapped under Taylor Glacier for more than 1 million years.”

How’d they accomplish it? By literally tracking the flow with a form of radar.

The researchers also landed on another major finding: that water in liquid form can flow through an incredibly cold glacier.

For more on Blood Falls, watch the explainer video below.


Read full story at American Association for the Advancement of Science