"Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee…"
Live things in Antarctica's Victoria Land arctic desert must be very special indeed. The 2,000 square mile arctic desert appears to be home to no living things. There is neither soil nor plants. All that seems to exist there is lifeless, windswept, glacier scoured rock.
On a warm day the desert may warm up to near freezing. During the perpetual darkness of winter, temperatures plunge to 158 degrees below zero. Yet, we know that there are very few places on Earth for which the Creator has not, in His unimagined wisdom, provided life. Scientists have now learned that there is indeed life in Antarctica's desert.
One tenth of an inch beneath the surface of the porous sandstone lives what biologists have called a miniature rainforest because of the various layers of life. A black zone made up mainly of fungi is closest to the surface of the rock. Just below that layer filaments of fungi and clusters of algae grow between the rock crystals. Several species of bacteria have also been found in this thin zone of life. They gain their food from the minerals in the rock as well as nitrogen released by the aurora australis, the southern lights. Together, these organisms provide a perfect ecological balance to continue life.
When the Creator decides that there shall be life no matter how hostile the conditions, He is able to create not just life but a complete, working ecological balance.
Notes: Bartusiak, Marcia. 1983. "Living in rock and lichen it." Science 83. p. 74.
Photo: Unusual bacteria have been found in Blood Falls, located in Victoria Land.
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