Friday, February 03, 2012

Russian scientists are close to punching through the ice in Antarctica and into Lake Vostok, which I'm sure you know makes me very nervous. They've spent almost two decades trying to get down there, but that lake was sealed off 15 million years ago and could contain any number of secrets. But there we are with our contaminated machines, just ruining things because we're too impatient to wait. Lake Vostok is more similar to Jupiter's Europa than it is to anything else on our own planet, and maybe it's better if we don't know. Let's just leave those microbes and monsters and treasure chests of gold dust to the depths and the cold. Let the lake show us its secrets when it's ready.

The insides of that lake have maybe not touched the outside world in millions of years, and given the nature of what's underneath it's likely that the opening will invite a geyser that empties the contents of the lake all over the ice, knocking over scientists and covering the land with mysteries. It's probably safer for all of us is what's hidden stays hidden.

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