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Published February 09, 2012, 12:00 AM

West Antarctic ice sheet


This image provided by NASA Tuesday March 16, 2010 shows a small shrimp-like creature at a depth of 600 feet beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet, the creature managed to brighten up an otherwise gray polar day in late November 2009. This critter is a three-inch long Lyssianasid amphipod found beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, about 12.5 miles away from open water. NASA scientists were using a borehole camera to look back up towards the ice surface when they spotted this pinkish-orange creature swimming beneath the ice. When Russian scientists examine samples from Lake Vostok, which hasn't seen light or wind for 20 million years, they may find microbes. If so, it'll show again that no matter how harsh, life finds a way to survive in the strangest places on Earth. So far bacteria has been found under ice sheets, deep in broiling hot mines, in highly acidic rivers, in the and the most radioactive of places. It's hard to find places devoid of life. So what does that mean for Mars or the far-off moons Europa and Enceladus which have oceans below crusts of ice just like Lake Vostok? (AP Photo/NASA)
Read the article: Life in Antarctic lake? It's everywhere else