The long-standing mystery of Antarctica’s “Blood Falls” may have finally been solved
The cliff, stained with blood-red water, pouring into the sea was first discovered in 1911 and it has baffled experts for more than a century.
It rapidly became known as Blood Falls and experts assumed that algae in the water were behind the strange red colour.
But it’s actually something much weirder, oozing, iron-rich brine which oxidises when it comes in contact with air, in the same way that iron rusts.
Researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks say that the ‘rusty’ water comes from a small saltwater lake trapped beneath a glacier, which may have been there for a million years.
The researchers say the lake is so salty it can’t freeze at normal temperatures – and scrapes irons from the bedrock as it seeps through the ice to Blood Falls.
They used a type of radar to detect the brine feeding Blood Falls.