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Antarctic Forest: The Mystery of a Lost Continent

By Unknown - February 07, 2018

Antarctic Forests

Millions of years ago Antarctica was not the continent of ice as we see it today. Who would have thought, forest with lush trees ever grow there. This evidence is shown through fragments of 13 fossil trees that scientists have just discovered. The fossilized tree, estimated to be 260 million years old, at least describes how an Antarctic ice continent used to be a fertile area.

The period in which the tree grows is according to researchers from the Period of the Final Permian which lasted 299 million to 251 million years ago.

Erik Gulbranson, a paleoecologist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and colleagues, revealed that the extinction of the forest has something to do with increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide and methane. Possibly, during the 200,000 years of volcanic eruptions in Siberia releasing tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

In that event 90 percent of the species on earth disappeared, including the forests at the poles.

"The forest is a glimpse of life before the Permian extinction, and the fossils can help understand what caused the incident, as well as give a clue to how the plant's character was different from what we find today," said Gulbranson as quoted by Science Daily, Monday (13/11/2017). [more...]

Antarctica was having a summer when Erik Gulbranson and John Isbell were doing 'hunts'. Wrapped in parka jackets against cold temperatures, strong winds, and glowing sun glow 24 hours, Gulbranson, Isbell, and a group of international researchers looking for fossil fragments.

Between November 2016 and January 2017, they climb the snowy slopes of McIntyre Promontory high above the ice and glacier fields. They sort through the gray sedimentary rocks in the Transantathic Mountains for clues.

At the end of the expedition, they found 13 fossil fragments of trees dating back more than 260 million years ago, around the time of the greatest mass extinction event on Earth. The discovery of the fossil contains guidance about the coldest and driest forests in the continent in the past.

The Permian period, lasting between 299 and 251 million years ago, was marked by the rise of Gondwana's supercontinent. As the collisions of the continents, extreme environments hit the massive land masses, which in the modern era included Antarctica, South America, Africa, India, Australia and the Arabian Peninsula. Ice hoods dominate most of the south and catapult it between prolonged summers and dark winters, while northern regions experience great heat and seasonal fluctuations. [more...]

What's Under Antarctic Ice?

Antarctica, past and present, still hold a mystery. The reason, it is difficult for humans to touch all the areas that are the most frozen land on the face of the Earth.

For scientists, if the veil of the mystery is unveiled completely, new scientific facts can be revealed. In addition to the alleged number of unidentified organisms, the frozen continent also plays a role as a 'time capsule' that stores and preserves fragments of evidence of ancient life.

But for other groups, such as conspiracy theorists, the icy plains at the southernmost end of the Earth - presumably - share evidence for some sensational mysteries. They believe that in Antarctica some evidence is stored like the existence of an ancient civilization lost to the 'trace of presence' of Alien on Earth.

Quoted from Sfgate, using echolocation to track the flow of water, researchers found a 5 million year old lake under Taylor Glacier. According to scientists, when the lake water out to the surface, salt water is oxidized when in contact with air.

Surprisingly again, the water is still in liquid form despite being inside a frozen glacier.

"Taylor Glacier is currently the coldest glacier whose water flows continuously," says co-author Christina Carr.

Reported by National Geographic, the lake under the glacier has a very salty consistency. Because saltwater has a frost point lower than pure water and releases heat when it freezes, it melts the ice and allows the river to flow. This makes glaciers can support the flow of water. In addition Taylor Glacier is also the coldest glacier on Earth with always flowing water.

A scientific theory says that at one time, Antarctica was not an ice area. The formerly allegedly fertile location was home to an ancient civilization.

The allegations are based on 'Plate Shift Theory'. According to that theory, the plate that formed the Antarctic continent, 12,000 years ago, is free of ice, so it can be inhabited by humans. Over time, the plate has shifted to the south of the Earth, making it less exposed to the sun's heat. Then, cold temperatures and frosty climate also dominate.

And the 'prehistoric' society there then vanished because of the Ice Age which froze the continent.

The ancient trees 
were able to survive during the prolonged summer and winter months, before disappearing in the largest mass extinction in history.
This article simply reminds us that what we see on our earth now, is of course very different in its condition hundreds of millions of years ago. Could be, the land is now a desert, formerly a jungle. Or it could be the land we are standing now, where we live with our families, formerly a vast ocean.

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