Waterfalls are a beautiful piece of nature, but imagine stepping by a waterfall where blood flows instead of water. Isn’t it horrific? Even people thought that until they came to know the real reason behind these blood red colored falls.
Location of Blood Falls
The blood falls lies in the East Antarctica in Taylor Glacier. They were first discovered in 1911 when local scientists noticed red stains on the surrounding rocks. They believed it was due to some algae or other microorganisms present in the water that has caused its discoloration. This theory, however, remained unexplained and unproven.
Blood falls are heavily rich in iron oxide, flowing from the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica. The water originally emerges from the brine lake which is situated beneath the Taylor Glacier. The water passes through bedrock which is rich in iron oxide. This is the sole reason why these falls are in dark red color.
One would surely question that how a fall could flow in such an atmosphere where glaciers are present. Why is it not frozen? There are two reasons to explain this phenomenon. One is the release of latent heat due to freezing, and besides salt-saturated water freezes in temperature lower than the actual freezing point.
Additionally, blood falls also inhabits various microbes that can survive in extreme conditions. These bacteria create energy in the water. This is similar to how human convert food to energy. These microbes generate energy via sulfate reduction.
Mentioning this a quote strikes my mind: “Life finds a way” – Dr. Ian Malcom. These microbes are an example how life is possible in extreme conditions. The way how life can be inhabited on other planets where oxygen is abundant can also be learned from them.