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Bloody Snow: Bacterial life behind color of Blood Falls in Antarctica


Bacterial life is said to be at the heart of one of the strangest phenomenon on Earth. The “Blood Falls,” which are said to be due to a combination of earthly elements, as well as bacterial life – cause one of the strangest wonders an individual could ever see. Up against an all-white canvas, those around it can see the strange, all white – algae like material – oozing from the sheets of ice. As strange as that is though, even more unique is the actual composition of it.

It’s said to be actual water that is oozing out, and even though it is at very cold temperatures, it isn’t frozen like the rest of the tundra. That is likely due to the fact that there are actual composition differences between it and traditional water that make it difficult to actually freeze. More than just being a spectacle though, it’s about determining what the scientific building blocks are for this type of thing.

Ross Virginia, who is an ecologist at Dartmouth College, pointed out that, “One of the big questions now is, is this finding regionally specific, or are there many locations in Antarctica where we have conditions that have created these subsurface environments for life.” At this point, its not clear but this will certainly spur greater research on the subject and should really begin to dive into the greater understanding that will be necessary to see what kind of trend this is. Whether this is a regional trend, or a specific thing that hasn’t ever been duplicated, or the conditions haven’t allowed anywhere else in the world.

It’s clear though that this is definitely something awesome that could have great impacts on the region. It could give scientists and researchers a better insight into what the space is all about, and what things like this are happening in places where we otherwise wouldn’t consider them to be. This is without question one of the most interesting finds in recent history, as it relates to finding living organisms in an extreme place like this.

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