On Antarctica’s Ross Island, the group of researchers dig around in the dirt, picking up samples of soil that they can take back and study in much warmer climes. As they carry out their work, though, the team aren’t suffering through the bone-chilling temperatures experienced on most of the continent. Instead, they’re making their way through a series of subterranean caves that are practically balmy – mostly because they lie perilously close to an active volcano. But possibly risking life and limb may turn out to be worth it. When the researchers finally look at their samples, you see, they find something chilling – and enough to potentially upend what we think we know about Antarctica.
Ross Island – where the team of specialists were carrying out their investigation – can be found not far from the shores of the Antarctic area of Victoria Land. And, interestingly, the island is actually a part of the Ross Dependency – a territory that lies under the jurisdiction of New Zealand. But, needless to say, this isolated environment doesn’t share a temperate climate with the Antipodean nation. On average, temperatures there tend to average out at a bitterly cold 1 °F.