Not only is Antarctica the coldest continent in the world, but it is also one that harbors many secrets. Time and time again, Antarctica has found itself in the center of an amazing discovery that has shocked the world.
Due to how remote Antarctica is and its climate, it is beloved by the world around it. One of the reasons for its awe-factor is how much we don’t know about the strange continent. Just in the past few years, we have made so many amazing discoveries in Antarctica. Below, I am going to cover four of the most amazing Antarctic discoveries from 2022.
1. Blooms in places they should not be.
Antarctica is always defying logic, and in this case, it’s simply amazing how this could even be possible. In the midst of some research, two teams of researchers discovered phytoplanktons blooming beneath the surface of the ocean in the polar regions. Because of where these phytoplanktons were found, researchers suspect that the decrease in the amount of life around the sea ice was likely due to climate change, which helped to get the blooms more light.
2. 1-million-year-old DNA.
During another bit of research, scientists found some DNA from ancient microorganisms. When they further tested the DNA, they found out that they were around 1 million years old! They found the DNA at around 584 feet deep beneath the seafloor. Unfortunately, they do not know who they belong to, but they believe they may belong to a group of phytoplankton known as diatoms.
3. Massive underground river discovered.
Another find, in 2022, was when researchers found a huge underground river beneath masses of ice. This river is so huge that is it bigger than the Thames in England and drains melting sea ice into the Weddell sea. According to Live Science, if the area continued to melt, it could cause sea levels to rise by 14 feet!
4. Simultaneous polar heat waves.
Both of our polar regions experienced massive heat waves this past year. Antarctica reached an 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit average for the year, which is much higher than normal. Temperatures like this are not common for the region, and if this trend continues, we could see even more of the ice melting. This could be disastrous if this keeps on.