Shortly after Christmas Day in 2018, a group of scientists are tirelessly at work in the wilderness of Antarctica. They’ve just finished cutting a deep hole into the ice, in fact, and have now reached a subglacial lake. From there, the team drop some specialist apparatus down the chasm to take water samples. And against all odds, it turns out that their festive season is going to be filled with gifts after all.
You see, the hole that the scientists had opened up actually led down to Mercer Subglacial Lake. And, just in case, a subglacial lake is exactly as its name suggests: a lake underneath a glacier. Yet not much is known about these formations. After all, their obscured positions mean that they’ve seldom been investigated in the past.