The Facts Behind Antarctica’s “Blood Falls”

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Our world is home to many amazing and weird things, and oftentimes those two adjectives can be applied to the same spaces and places.

Traveling in person isn’t a thing many of us are doing these days, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still look at pictures and dream, right?

Not that many of us will ever have the chance to see Blood Falls, which is in Antarctica, in person during our lifetimes, regardless.

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The blood-red waterfall is five stories high, and pours slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys. At first, geologists thought the red color was the result of algae, but luckily, the truth is a bit more exciting.

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Around 2 million years ago, a small body of water containing ancient microbes was sealed beneath the Taylor Glacier.

They have remained beneath the ice, largely undisturbed, since then – sort of like nature’s time capsule – and have evolved away from the influence of the modern world.

The trapped lake is completely dark, has no free oxygen and very little heat. It has a very high salinity and is rich in iron, the latter of which causes it’s blood-red color.

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You have to admit, it would be a pretty wild thing to see in person. It’s kind of a mind-bending sight, right?

If you want to make plans to go, you’ll need to get to Antarctica, hire a helicopter, or take a cruise ship across the Red Sea.

Have you ever been here? Did you want to go?

Let us know in the comments!