A melting glacier in Chile revealed an entire graveyard of ichthyosaurs (fish lizards,) which lived on Earth about 90 million – 250 million years ago during the Mesozoic period. Fish lizards are known to have been incredibly quick swimmers who killed their prey (eels and other fish) by biting into them with their 100+ razor-sharp teeth.
Scientists discovered dozens of the creature underneath the melted ice, each of which was somewhere between 10 and 16 feet long, fully grown. So, they were basically like huge crocodiles who lived entirely under the water. Some of these ancient creatures are pretty terrifying.
This 20+ Million-Year-Old Lake
Antarctica continues to surprise everyone with hidden treasures buried deep within. In 1996, the discovery of a 5,000-square-foot subglacial lake was made by Russian scientists.
The body of water, which happens to be the 16th largest of its kind, was named after a research station in the area. Researchers believe that the lake was formed between 20 and 30 million years ago and that it is one of many connected by a system of subglacial rivers. The Vostok region of Antarctica is where the world’s coldest temperature has been recorded, a whopping -128 degrees Fahrenheit in the 1980s. Yikes!
The discovery of Lake Vostok is exciting enough in itself, but you can imagine how thrilled researchers were when they discovered life forms that are several millions of years old. Over 3,000 different life forms have been found in the region, meaning scientists stumbled upon an ecosystem they never even thought possible.
Scientists are just now beginning to understand that it’s possible for life to survive in places that were deemed too hostile to support life in the past. Lake Vostok is more than 4,000m below the ice, where there’s been no sun for ages, and yet these organisms were able to thrive.
An Ice Wall of Soldiers
In Antarctica, it's common to see ice walls of naturally sculptured ice. It's a truly breathtaking sight. In this photo, the wall almost looks like a line of soldiers standing and waiting for orders from the gods of nature. Beyond the confines of this image, the ice wall stretches very far.
This particular structure has been shaped over centuries by freezing temperatures and strong winds. Ice sculptures take many different forms, displaying a variety of textures and patterns. This is just another example of nature in all of its beauty and how we need to protect it at all costs.
If you have ever seen any of the "Ice Age" movies, you have watched the spunk little squirrel wreak all kinds of havoc while chasing his nut around. Well, it isn’t so much havoc, but it’s the same type of activity that led to this discovery of a plant that’s more than 30,000 years old.
Scientists found seeds of the ancient flowering plant, Silene stenophylla, near the Kolyma River in Siberia. They believe they were buried there by a squirrel during the Ice Age. After they were removed from the ice, researchers were able to grow more of the plants.