Weekly Photo: Blood Falls, Antarctica

Weekly Photo: Blood Falls, Antarctica

Iron-rich water leaking from Antarctica’s Taylor Glacier produces the deep red color of Blood Falls.
—Credit: Peter Rejcek, U. S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation vis NSIDC.org.

*Click on image for full-sized view.

What looks like the setting of some macabre slaughter of arctic wildlife, the Blood Falls is actually a cool scientific phenomenon. Located on the 35-mile-long Taylor Glacier in Victoria Land, directly south of New Zealand, the red hue is actually caused by bacteria that consume sulfur, and its iron-rich excretions cause the bizarre color. The microbial bacteria are a scientific marvel in their own right; they have survived there all this time without light, outside nutrients, and photosynthesis.

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Christian "Krzysiek" Eilers is a twenty-something who constantly likes to look up the next flight out of JFK. His life goal is to visit every country in the world; as a young adult working full-time, he often settles on visiting the near countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean, knocking these off the list as it is less of a financial strain than Europe or Asia. Caffeine is his vice, and if he doesn't have a coffee in his hands, then it's probably a green tea. A native of New York City, when he is not traveling, he can find an abundance of cultural influences right in his own city, enough to keep him satisfied until the next country's beckon cannot be ignored any longer. He holds a cigarette in one hand while monitoring his Fitbit's heart rate with the other.