What Is Blood Falls?

Blood Falls is a dark red waterfall that flows from a glacier in Antarctica. It is in a desert area of Antarctica known as McMurdo Dry Valley, which is one of the only parts of the continent without frozen conditions. Technically known as Taylor Glacier, the area stretches 34.8 miles (56 km) wide and contains a small waterfall that contains bacteria that create the blood-like appearance. The bacteria are thought to be located under 1,300 feet (400 m) of ice and survive by living off compounds of iron and sulfur. The red color of the water is thought to be caused by the excreted iron reacting with oxygen in the air.

More about Blood Falls:

  • Scientists often study the glacier in order to learn more about how certain bacteria can survive in drastic climates such as Antarctica, and they sometimes use this knowledge when creating theories about the conditions on other planets.

  • Blood Falls was first discovered in 1911, and its color was originally thought to be the result of algae.

  • It is thought that the bacteria that give the waterfall its red color have been able to survive for more than 1 million years.
More Info: nationalgeographic.com

Discussion Comments


There are photos of blood falls online. The Mother Earth Network site has some good ones.

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