Updated 01:56 PM EDT, Wed, Sep 22, 2021

Alien Life Discovery Looming? Antarctica Saltwater Suggests Bio-Supportive Environment

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Man may not need to look further to answer one of the universe's most controversial questions of all time: Is there life beyond Earth?

A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications has dived into the depths of Antarctica. According to ValueWalk, scientists found that the region concealed "a system of liquid aquifers" connected to each other.

The discovery's significance lies in the thought that the saltwater may have sprung from an ancient sea that hosts microbial life, Gizmodo noted.

Blood Falls, belching deep water from far beneath the surface of the Antarctic dry valley, serves as an initial point of query regarding the mysteries of the seemingly-inhabitable continent. The rust-colored brine is said to be influenced by bacteria living under Taylor Glacier, LiveScience reported.

SlashGear added that this red hue has specifically resulted from iron oxide.

That being said, hopes are up for the possibility of detecting life on Mars, considering its similarities with Antarctica, ValueWalk said. As told by the outlet, while the Red Planet's surface is known to be incapable of supporting life, its subsurface, just like Antarctica, could indicate the promising discovery of alien life.

LiveScience took note of Dawn Sumner's remarks, a geobiologist at the UC Davis, who said, "I find it a very interesting and exciting study because the hydrology of the Dry Valleys has a complicated history and there's been very little data abut what's happening in the subsurface."

According to the outlet, Sumner said that similar briny groundwater may have formed on Mars as the planet evolved to its dry state.

Meanwhile, the Antarctic discovery has been confirmed by scientists through an electronmagnetic sensor flown above Taylor Valley. The sensor's readings were able to determine whether the hidden matter is ice, soil or in this case, liquid brine, Gizmodo said.

Leading his team of microbiologists, Professor Jill Mikucki expressed that people may change their outlook towards Antarctica's coastal margins. The Science Times cited his remarks, which said, "We know there is significant saturated sediment below the surface that is likely seeping into the ocean and affecting the productivity of things that feed ocean food webs."

"It lends to the understanding of the flow of nutrients and how that might affect ecosystem health," Mikucki went on.

As noted by the Science Times, the researchers are convinced that their discovery could someday lead to human migration in subsurface habitats. These planetary prospects, as you may expect it, include Mars.

What do you think of the researcher's findings? Is the discovery enough to warrant further probing on Mars' subsurface? Sound off in the comments section.

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