Contrary to somewhat overheated reports from Fox News regarding their mysterious silence, scientists with Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute are probably just very busy. The Russian team has been drilling through 13,000 feet of Antarctic ice to reach subterranean Lake Vostok, a body of water that hasn’t seen daylight for 20 million years. On Thursday, an article published by Fox News seemed to leave open the prospect the scientists might have reached their goal and perhaps awakened some horrible evil from beyond time and space:
A group of Russian scientists plumbing the frozen Antarctic in search of a lake buried in ice for tens of millions of years have failed to respond to increasingly anxious U.S. colleagues — and as the days creep by, the fate of the team remains unknown.
“No word from the ice for 5 days,” Dr. John Priscu — professor of ecology at Montana State University and head of a similar Antarctic exploration program — told FoxNews.com via email.
U.S. News and World Report says Dr. Priscu’s dire seeming words were misconstrued:
“I can assure you that they are not lost or out of contact,” he wrote in an email. “I never said the Russians were lost.”
“What I can tell you is that they are doing something that has never been done before—think of it, sampling a lake under 2.5 miles of ice at a location that is the highest, driest and coldest desert on our planet,” he adds.
So we can relax–dread Cthulhu has not wakened from his timeless slumbers to consume the intrepid Russians for disturbing his dark and eldritch dream-time. Dr. Priscu assured U.S. News that Russian team is simply “working round the clock” to complete their historic mission and reach the buried lake before the brutal Antarctic winter arrives.
Though it would probably be good to know if they do check in, soon. Just in case.