It’s been a while since the last time we talked about the fortean potential of the scientific expeditions to Antarctica’s Lake Vostok, at which point we mercilessly teased you with the idea that there would soon be a post about Antarctica-as-Atlantis that never came. Still, since the subject is somewhat close to our conspiratorial hearts here at the Illuminerdy, it was with some glee that we discovered today that the same mysteriously disappearing group of Russian scientists we had talked about all those months ago has now discovered “unidentified and unclassified life” festering beneath the ice.
It’s certainly no stretch to suggest that this discovery harbors some kind of as-yet-unspecified doom for the modern epoch, unless, that is, your characters can stop it.
Perhaps the best part is that no one involved in this appears to have ever watched a modern sci-fi horror film, and they are busily setting up your plot for you. According to the Guardian (linked above):
The scientists extracted strands of DNA from the organism, but said the genetic code was never more than an 86% match with any of the species listed in global databanks…. The organisms are likely to be different from well-known life because they have evolved in isolation, under intense pressure, and with no sunlight, for millions of years.
The Russian team said it planned more tests, but needed more specimens of the bugs. Those might be among water samples collected from the lake earlier this year, which are being carried by ship back to the Russian mainland.
The scientists ultimately hope to grow the bacteria so they can study their size, shape and physiology, and confirm whether or not the bugs are new to science.
I, for one, welcome our new bacterial overlords.