Thursday, March 12, 2009

Alp-size mountain range in Antarctica

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From Reuters:

Jagged mountains the size of the Alps have been found entombed in Antarctica's ice, giving new clues about the vast ice sheet that will raise world sea levels if even a fraction of it melts, scientists said on Tuesday.

Using radar and gravity sensors, the experts made the first detailed maps of the Gamburtsev subglacial mountains, originally detected by Russian scientists 50 years ago at the heart of the East Antarctic ice sheet.

"The surprising thing was that not only is this mountain range the size of the Alps, but it looks quite similar to the (European) Alps, with high peaks and valleys," said Fausto Ferraccioli, a geophysicist at the British Antarctic Survey who took part in the research.

He told Reuters that the mountains would probably have been ground down almost flat if the ice sheet had formed slowly. But the presence of jagged peaks might mean the ice formed quickly, burying a landscape under up to 4 km (2.5 miles) of ice.

The last (obvious) place of mystery. 4Km of ice is thick. Too thick to melt, destroy, burrow, at least for the time being.
A true Terra Incognita, hostile and unforgiving, igniting the imaginations of writers with subzero secrets and hidden civilizations. Where else could an Ancient City millions of years old could have survived intact, if not under the protective polar cap?
I am referring of course to H.P Lovecrafts "At the Mountains of Madness". Holds a special place in my heart.
It could be there, under the ancient, ancient ice. Really. It could be.

And if it isn't, is it really important? No. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. H.P. was right in so many aspects it makes you wonder.

6 comments:

aerosol said...

I quote from WikipediaQ
"Director Guillermo del Toro has written a screenplay based on Lovecraft's story, but in 2006 had trouble getting Warner Bros. to finance the project. Wrote Del Toro, "The studio is very nervous about the cost and it not having a love story or a happy ending, but it's impossible to do either in the Lovecraft universe."

Illuminatus said...

Yep I heard. Love story and happy endings in HPL... Now that's funny.

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