Russia is planning on drilling a 35 million year old lake in the middle of the Antarctica. This lake, Lake Vostok, is 670 meters deep or roughly 2198 feet deep and each liter or water contains approximately 2.5 liters of compressed air (Space Daily, Aug. 2003), now why is this, a good idea? This lake could contain new information on some of the blank spots in earth history. The information that is able to be collected from this lake could result in exponential growth in the interplanetary programs at NASA. These discoveries could also lead to new research in the evolutionary fields of the Earth.
Lake Vostok was discovered in 1996 after decades' worth of seismic studies, radar surveys and satellite imaging and, underneath two miles of solid ice. Named after Vostok Station in Antarctica and being 30 by 140 miles large and over 3000 feet deep Lake Vostok is considered to be on of the largest lakes in the world, and is comparable to Lake Ontario. The water inside the lake has been hermetically sealed from air and light for up to the last 35 million years (Columbia University, 2003). Lake Vostok also contains the oldest water in the world, as said by Dr. Robin Bell of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Lake Vostok is absolutely devoid of interference. The youngest water in it is 400,000 years old. It doesn't know anything of human beings, fossil fuels, or plastics. It is a window into life forms and climates of primordial eras. To more generalize the studies being done on Lake Vostok, this is the closest comparison to Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede, it also closely compares to the icecaps on Mars.
The bottom of the lake it is laying on a bed of sediment 229 feet thick. Some geologists believe there to be geothermal vents at the bottom of the lake that could give off enough heat and minerals to sustain life forms, similarly to those on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean (Columbia University, 2003).