The mystery of the bloody waterfalls of Antarctica has been unraveled

The mystery of the bloody waterfalls of Antarctica has been unraveled
One of the bloody waterfalls of Antarctica

Scientists have discovered why the waterfall at the foot of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica is colored raspberry. For a long time, algae were believed to be the reason. However, it turns out that it is due to iron salts released from beneath the ice, according to New Atlas.

Geologist Thomas Griffith Taylor described the vivid red stream of water in 1911. The waterfall started with ordinary transparent water but soon turned red because of iron oxidation, which had not occurred in thousands of years.

A new study revealed that iron in the waterfall takes an unexpected form of nanospheres. They are a hundred times smaller than human red blood cells.

"I looked into the microscope and saw these tiny iron-rich nanospheres. They contained various elements - silicon, calcium, aluminum, sodium - and all of them were different. To be considered a mineral, atoms must be arranged in a very specific crystalline structure. These nanospheres are not crystalline, so the previous methods used to study solids couldn't detect them," explained the lead author of the study, Ken Livy.

This type of analytical method could help in finding water and life on other planets. Perhaps scientists are just using the wrong equipment for the search right now.