The icy surface of Antarctica may be covering a chasm double the length of the Grand Canyon, BBC reports. Satellite images of the continent’s little-explored Princess Elizabeth region show a mysterious strip of lines in the surface ice, detailed in the journal Geology. Researchers now claim—backed by equipment that bounces radar waves through the ice to map the rock below—that these lines are the sign of a 600-mile-long series of canyons, connected to a subglacial lake. Much of the Antarctic surface is already well-studied, so international researchers are now racing to fully map these last remaining areas using tools that can uncover the continent’s unseen rocky surface. They hope that finding a providing view of these canyons will help scientists understand how Antarctic ice will respond to climate change.
Read our COVID-19 research and news.