Mount Erebus is the second highest active volcano in Antarctica after Mount Siddeley. It is the southernmost active volcano on Earth. This volcano is located on Ross Island at an altitude of 3,684 meters. The island was formed by four volcanoes in the Ross Sea. The volcano has been active for some 1.3 million years and provides evidence of a mysterious world of animals and plants beneath the icy continent.
Mount Erebus is surrounded by a complex system of caves, which open into the ice from the steam. These caves were discovered during an extensive study led by the Australian National University. In this, the researchers found how the steam from the volcano passes through the open spaces and in the process melts the ice in the paths through the cave network.
The temperature inside the caves is 25 °C
The team said the caves have light and can reach temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius, making them a potential breeding ground for life. The study was published in 2017 and was led by Dr Ceridwen Fraser, Laurie Connell, Charles K. Lee and S. Craig Carey. At that time, Dr. Frasson had said that the caves are really hot inside and the temperature of some can go up to 25 degrees Celsius.
Can walk in caves wearing t-shirts
He said that you can walk there wearing a T-shirt very comfortably. There is light at the mouth of the cave and the light continues to come from above in some parts of the cave where the ice above is thin. Analyzing DNA from soil taken from the caves, the team found evidence of organisms including algae, mosses and small invertebrates. However, this was not surprising as many of these species are already found in Antarctica.