What you’re looking at isn’t a crime scene, but a natural phenomenon! We’ll keep this intro short because we’re sure you’re ~dying~ to know more about the mysterious Blood Falls in Antarctica. (See what we did there?)
(image via: forbes)
First things first, the name Blood Falls got its name from its ruddy color that, well, looks like blood. This is actually a liquid outflow at the snout of Taylor Glacier; while many glaciers have outflow, there are very few in the world that are salty, and even fewer that run red.
Now, the lake in which this outflow of coming from isn’t actually some random red lake, it’s the result of no oxygen, no light, and tons of iron. There is a chemical reaction that occurs between the oxygen, or lack thereof, and the amount of iron; the presence of salt increases the rate of this reaction which causes the rather salty water to appear red as it eerily creeps down the glacier. To put this into terms we clumsy people understand, the process is similar to when we scrape our knees and we start bleeding.
Blood Falls was discovered in 1911, which seems pretty recent when you think about it. Australian geographer, anthropologist Griffith Taylor can be credited for this discovery when he visited Taylor Valley in Antarctica, and the valley was then named after him.
(image via: youtube)
East Antarctica, where Blood Falls is located, is referred to as Victor Land, and Victor Land is where dry valleys are located. We aren’t sure about you, but when we think “dry valley” we don’t think of anything too crazy, when in fact, Antarctica’s dry valleys are one of the most hostile environments on the planet. Not only is the air incredibly dry, but temperatures have dropped to a frigid -90 degrees Fahrenheit. That being said, the fact that Blood Falls even exists is proof that ecosystems, or life rather, can exist even in the most hostile conditions.
If you’re wondering how you can go see Blood Falls, the answer probably isn’t as simple as you would like. In fact, the simplest way you can reach Blood Falls is by catching a helicopter ride from a nearby research base. There are also cruise ships that are bound for that area, but keep in mind that this isn’t a regular cruise, it’s a freezing cold cruise. The temperatures, oftentimes averaging roughly -4 degrees Fahrenheit aren’t exactly tourist-friendly temps.