The 100-Year-Old Mystery Of Antarctica’s Blood Falls Finally Solved


Antarctica’s Blood Falls looks like the gruesome aftermath of David Attenborough penguin scene gone very wrong, and it was a scientific mystery until now.

It has been 106 years since Australian geologist Griffith Taylor discovered the striking red falls flowing from the glacier named after him onto the ice lake West Lake Bonney.

Originally it was thought to be caused by red algae before it was decided in 2003 to be caused by oxidised iron in the water coming from a 500 million-year-old salt lake.


However a new study from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College confirms that the glacier actually has its own water system underneath it which has been flowing for a million years.

Using echolocation, the team of researchers tracked where the river flowed and found that the reason it hasn’t frozen is because of the hydraulic system that produces heat energy when the water freezes, in turn melting the surrounding ice.


The Blood Falls has fascinated scientists all over the world because it is a ‘time capsule’ of sorts, preserving ancient microbial systems.

The glacier even gives scientists a way of studying what life is like on other planets without needing to drill into ice caps.

And it looks awesome.