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There may be nothing new under the Sun. But under the deep ice in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, geophysical scientists believe they may have uncovered a previously unknown lacustrine ecosystem, which they have named Lake Vida.

Beneath 19 meters of ice—the thickest non-glacial lake ice cover on Earth—researchers, including Peter Doran of the University of Illinois at Chicago, have reported finding an “ice-sealed” lake. They concluded that this ice seal distinguishes Lake Vida from other lakes that receive meltwater below a floating ice cover and that annually exchange gases with the atmosphere.