Uncovering the Secrets of Blood Falls

In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, pristine glaciers are marred in one spot by a striking feature: a crimson stain on the white cliffs, looking not unlike a gaping wound in the ice.

The five-story gash goes by the unnerving name of Blood Falls, although the color is not at all organic in nature. The salty water that seeps from the glacier is actually stained red by its rich iron content, and harbors a community of extremophile microbes. How that water came to be there, and how it c

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