Scientists have discovered something very unusual in the Gulf of Mexico – a lake on the ocean floor. Not just a lake, a waterfall too, which is said to be a spectacular sight. The lake is circular and resembles a crater. How could such an underwater lake exist?
Scientists studying the phenomenon say that the reason the water of the lake doesn’t mix with the water of the surrounding sea water is that it is five times saltier and has higher temperatures than the ocean water around it. There are also a lot of highly toxic chemicals in the lake that make it deadly to most lifeforms, including human. Only a few forms of life have adapted to living in the toxic environment, which includes tube worms, some bacteria and shrimp.
Some creatures died after accidentally stumbling into the lake and their remains can be seen. One of the toxins in the lake is methane. The methane bubbles up from the lake and is the reason scientists have dubbed the lake the “Jacuzzi of Despair”
The interest scientists have in studying the underwater lake in the Gulf of Mexico is twofold. One reason for studying it is to learn more about how life adapts to various environments and the other is to learn about the types of environments that could be encountered in space exploration. The underwater lake provides an excellent opportunity to gain some knowledge about atmospheres on other planets that we may someday explore.