4 Million years old discovery in Antarctica stuns scientists

Antarctica is of great interest to scientists as it is an unspoiled landscape where they can study the effects of climate change. Since 2006, researchers from Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the US have been drilling through ice, water, and rock to recover core samples in a program known as the Antarctic Drilling Project (ANDRIL). David Harwood, who is part of the team scanning the icy continent, says he made an amazing find in the eastern region. It was revealed during NOVA’s “Secrets of Antarctica” how the discovery of wood and leaves has helped the researcher to map out the frozen desert’s past.

The narrator explained in 2015: “300 miles away [from base], there appears to be a completely different picture. “Exploring East Antarctica – and closer to the South Pole – ANDRILL’s David Harwood found leaf fossils and pieces of wood.  “Surprisingly, according to Harwood, these date back to a relatively recent time, when Antarctica was not only warmer than today, but there were plants and trees.”
The series spoke to Dr. Harwood who claimed the pieces of wood dated back millions of years. He said: “This is a piece of southern beach. “This wood is not fossilized in the sense that if it is petrified it could still burn. “To find the wood and leaves together is pretty phenomenal, it’s really phenomenal for Antarctica. “It dates back to a period of about 4 million years ago.”

 

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