Marine biology

Scientists find new evidence of life beneath Antarctic ice

The borehole showing the location where the drill broke through to Subglacial Lake Mercer.
The UV collar and borehole, showing the water of Subglacial Lake Mercer, from the SASA Project. Photo: Billy Collins, SALSA Science Team.

A research team drilling thousands of feet under the Antarctic Ice Sheet has found new evidence of microbial life there — life forms not known to exist elsewhere.

Why it matters: It's only the second subglacial lake in Antarctica to be explored, in an area as vast as twice the area of the continental U.S. That means scientists have to draw a lot of conclusions from drilling two holes — but it's the only way to learn about what kind of life exists in the mysterious world of subglacial lakes and rivers deep beneath the ice.

Researchers find plastic particles in every sea turtle tested for study

Sea Turtles
Sea turtles going into the ocean. Photo: Edgar Santiago García/picture alliance via Getty Images

Research published in the journal Global Change Biology revealed that more than 800 synthetic particles, including "microplastics," were found in the digestive systems of 102 sea turtles examined from 3 ocean basins.

Why it matters: The fact that microplastics were found in all of the turtles tested by researchers — in oceans all across the world — highlights the impact of marine plastic waste and its potential effects on animals. The study estimated that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic waste could enter the world's waters each year.

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