SPECIAL REPORT

Antarctica Inside Out

From ancient ice to hidden lakes, new research reveals the frozen continent as never before. In Antarctica's Dry Valleys, an expedition seeks the world's oldest ice and a potential treasure trove of information about past climate conditions. Nearly 650 miles and a world away at Lake Whillans, a cadre of scientists drilled through half a mile of ice to find the first signs of life in a subglacial lake.

Dry Valleys Diary

Our writer follows in the footsteps of a geologist determined to unlock the valleys’ many secrets

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CONTENTS

FEATURE

Dispatches from Antarctica's Dry Valleys

Home to what’s believed to be the world’s oldest ice, the Dry Valleys also hold clues about Earth's climatic past and possible future.

VIDEO

Light Show at the Bottom of the World

This series of time-lapse videos reveals the stunning beauty and grandeur of one of Earth's most remote locations.

PHOTO GALLERY

Frozen in Time

Experience one of the few surface ice-free areas of Antarctica — a landscape as inhospitable to humans as it is valuable to scientific research — through the lens of a recent expedition.

SIDEBAR

Hidden Ecology and Surprising Geology in the Dry Valleys

This unique landscape attracts researchers from around the world to study microbe evolution, scars of geological disasters and even how glaciers behaved on Mars.

FEATURE

Life Under Antarctica's Ice

Join researchers seeking signs of life in one of the hundreds of lakes and rivers that lurk beneath Antarctica's expansive ice sheet.
SIDEBAR

From Antarctica to the Moons of Jupiter

Subglacial ecosystems on the frozen continent clue us in to what life may be like in the outer solar system.
BLOG

Scientists First Glimpse Interior of an Antarctic Subglacial Lake

A report from the field captures the exhaustion and exhilaration of the moment when researchers finally broke through the ice to reach Lake Whillans.
PHOTO GALLERY

U.S. Team Penetrates Subglacial Lake Whillans

An action-packed expedition unfolds as researchers race against time to drill into Lake Whillans.

BLOG

First Evidence of Life in Antarctic Subglacial Lake

When scientists viewed Whillans' water under a microscope they saw tiny glints of green: the first evidence of life in the lakes under Antarctica's ice.
PHOTO GALLERY

Mud Samples Retrieved From Antarctic Lake

Photos capture the grit and glory as the first sediment samples from Lake Whillans are painstakingly brought to the surface.

VIDEO

Micro-Submarine Gets First Look at Subglacial Lake Bottom

Researchers lowered a video camera through more than 2,600 feet of ice to capture underwater images of Lake Whillans.
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