close
Advertisement

13 of the coolest scientific discoveries of the year

From new planets to DNA breakthroughs to whale earwax, 2018 has been filled with fascinating scientific stories.

2. It looks like there’s a lake on Mars
2. It looks like there’s a lake on Mars
Getty Images

This past summer, a report in Science revealed that radar scans from the Mars Express spacecraft had detected an underground lake on the red planet, below the southern ice cap. (The Mars Express is a project of the European Space Agency.)

Although ice and gaseous water have been found on Mars, its surface clearly shows that at some point in the past the planet had plenty of liquid water that had somehow gone missing, according to National Geographic.

If the Martian seas somehow ended up as underground reservoirs, they could provide resources for future human missions to the planet.

Even more intriguingly, astrobiologists say the lake could be conducive to life: Elena Pettinelli of Italy’s Roma Tre University—one of the paper’s authors—points out that the similar environment of the Antarctic hosts living bacteria.

If you believe the news, a human mission to Mars is no longer a sci-fi fantasy. But what problems would we need to overcome? And should we even try?



Advertisement
45 facts that will make you stop using plastic

45 facts that will make you stop using plastic

Plastic is not only killing marine animals and ecosystems, but countless studies show it’s hazardous to human health. These shocking statistics may encourage you to rethink single-use plastic products.
11 people who came back to life reveal what they saw on “the other side”

11 people who came back to life reveal what they saw on “the other side”

It’s the question we’ve all asked: What happens after death? These people say they have an idea.
13 books we bet you never knew were banned

13 books we bet you never knew were banned

They were taken off the shelves for the craziest reasons.
9 great fantasy epics every Game of Thrones fan needs to read

Game of Thrones fan? You need to read these 9 great fantasy epics

If you're a fan of the series, these other epic series are a must read.
13 things you never knew were shrinking

13 things you never knew were shrinking

For better or worse, these things are getting smaller and smaller – and you probably haven’t even noticed.

Advertisement