Three large saltwater lakes have been discovered beneath the surface of the planet Mars. The water is probably very salty, as it is liquid in extreme cold. The discovery is in the prestigious science magazine Nature.
The lakes are located below the south pole of Mars. They were discovered with the Mars Express satellite of the European space agency ESA. That probe also discovered an underground lake on Mars in 2018, at a depth of 1.5 kilometers. The largest pool has a size of 20 by 30 kilometers. There are a few smaller lakes around it.
Mars probably had running water on its surface many millions of years ago, but that’s gone. There is still water underground. That may be billions of years old. The lakes are difficult to reach but are scientifically interesting because life could occur.
There are similar lakes on Earth. For example, Vostok Lake is located 4 kilometers below the South Pole. That is 250 by 50 kilometers and more than 400 meters deep.
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