The Blood Falls In Antartica Pours Out Red Blood-Like Liquid

by Angel Merchant
The Blood Falls In Antartica Pours Out Red Blood-Like Liquid

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The Southern edge of Antartica is home to one of the harshest deserts in the world, the McMurdo Dry Valley. This spot is literally the driest place on earth, and hasn’t seen rain in over 2 million years. The winds that come in from the mountains are heavy with moisture, and hence, are pulled down by the gravity. They are constantly pulled away from the valleys, and a result, the harshly dry environment in the valley.

What’s It?

The McMurdo Dry Valley is also home to one of the world’s most astounding features. A waterfall that looks like it spews blood. The five story fall, that pours out of the Taylor Glacier and ends up straight into Lake Bonney, is ruddy red. It gives the illusion of what looks like blood flowing out of a cut in the glacier. This unique crimson hue is vivid and vibrant, and so the falls is rightly called ‘blood falls’. But, fret not! What actually pours out of it is nothing near actual blood.

How It Happens

Over five million years ago, ocean levels rose and flooded the entirety of East Antartica. This created a massive, salty lake. Many hundreds of years later, colossal glaciers formed on top of the lake, almost cutting it off from the rest of the continent. The water trapped beneath it is extremely salty, almost three times saltier than regular sea water. The high salt content also makes it impossible to freeze, even under the freezing conditions present in Antartica. The source of the  blood falls, comes from a glacier formed over millions of years, underneath a plethora of many other glaciers.

What’s More?

The blood spitting glacier is completely devoid of the outside world. No sunlight, or oxygen can reach the formation. The glacier is also saturated with Iron. So as the glacier melts and a water fall erupts, the iron-heavy liquid comes into contact with the oxygen in the air, and begins to rust.We all know what happens when things begin to rust, they put on a vibrant ruddy hue. The reaction happens so fast, it gives the illusion that blood is splurging out of the falls.

The subglacial valley, is a happy respite as compared to the rest of Antartica. Most scientists set up camp close to Blood falls, in order to explore the South Pole. Its unique surface is said to be the closest thing to land on Mars. There are a number of microbial organisms surviving underneath and inside the glaciers, devoid of oxygen and sunlight. Their process of living is similar to organisms living on the ocean floor and are of great interest to scientists.

There are only a handful of ways this scientific miracle can be accessed. Ships off the coast of New Zealand, and helicopters from the United States of America, are the only ways to reach the blood oozing falls. The rough terrain is exposed to harsh and unforgiving winds, robbing the air of any humidity or moisture. The colour depth of the falls varied from year to year. Some years its a more vibrant hue, other times its a more rusty look.

Also Read: Kaieteur Falls In The Amazon Rainforest Is The Largest Single-Drop Waterfall In The World