Аustralian scientists explored ice caves under antarctic ice shelves and came up to the solution that it is warm enough over there for animals and plants. Natural cave systems were developed by a steam around the mountain Erebus located on an active volcano of Rossa island in Antarctica.
Doctor Keridven Fraser from the School of Environment of the National University of Australia undertook an experimental analysis of soil samples from these caves which indicated the presence of the DNA of seaweed, lichen and small animals. True, it is not possible yet to identificate them.
According to the scientist, the air is being warmed up up to 25 Celsius degrees, so it is comfortable there for a human in a t-shirt and shorts. Moreover there is a light in the caves, in the places with the thinnest ice surface.
Next step would be to ensure thorough study of these caves in order to search for live beings. The professor Craig Carey from Vaikato University of New Zealand believes, the study can result in the discovery of higher plants and animals and not only bacterias and mushrooms.
Doctor Charley Lee, another researcher from the University of Vaikato mentions that there are other volcanoes in Antarctica that means that under-ice cave systems can be spread over the entire continent. The exact amount is not known yet as well as the fact whether they are connected with each other via cross-cutting tunnels or not. It is complicated to find them, but the perspectives of what they can reveal are really inspiring!