A team of British researchers has discovered mountain ranges and valleys hundreds of miles long sitting deep beneath western Antarctica. Using 'ice-penetrating radar', researchers mapped the subglacial landscape and it is expected to play a crucial role in understanding the icy continents past, present and future.
"We expected to find mountainous subglacial topography, but the size of the troughs did come as a surprise because we had no indication that they were there," said Dr Kate Winter, a research fellow at Northumbria University in the United Kingdom and the lead author of the study, NBC reports.
In the study, which is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers stated that these newly discovered landforms in Antarctica prevent ice from East Antarctica from flowing through West Antarctica and to the coast.
The biggest valley discovered in Antarctica is named 'Foundation Trough' and it is more than 217 miles long. The width of this valley is more than 20 miles, much longer than Manhattan Island. The other valley 'Patuxent Trough' is nearly 200 miles long and nine miles wide. The 'Offset Rift Basin' is the smallest discovered valley and it is 93 miles long and 18 miles wide.
As these canyons are too big, the environmental impacts it creates are also expected to be huge. The increase in atmospheric temperature will thin the polar ice sheets and the orientation of these canyons could speed up the flow of ice to oceans. This will finally result in the rise of global sea levels, leading to flooding in coastal areas.
In the meantime, conspiracy theory YouTube channel UFOmania has released a chilling video stating that the United States government has sent a team of marines to Antartica in 2012 to study more about the pyramids discovered in the South Pole. The conspiracy theory channel reveals that Antarctica might be once a lush land, and climate changes might have turned it into an icy land. These theorists argue that the government is hiding the real truth about human history for unknown reasons.