Did you know that the water of Blood Falls is coloured red because of the presence of iron oxide in the water?
1. The waterfalls are located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica – one of the coldest and driest places in the world.
2. The source of the waterfall is an intensely salty lake which is located beneath the Taylor Glacier. This lake is rich in sulfur and bacteria and is actually under at least 1300 feet of ice!
3. Did you know the lake is home for a few living organisms? These organisms are bacteria (extremophiles) which have become used to living in a region where there is no light or enough oxygen.
4. These bacteria are also unique in one other way. They have been living isolated from the rest of the world for the past 1.5 million years!
The source of the reddish plume of water is said to be an intensely salty lake rich in sulfur and iron ions which are trapped beneath some 1300 feet of ice! This lake is also home to bacteria which were isolated from the world for about 1.5 million years, who managed to live in a dark, oxygen-poor ecosystem by living on sulfur and iron compounds!
PICTURE CREDIT: PETER REJCEK/ ANTARCTIC PHOTO LIBRARY