Putin hails Antarctic lake discovery
Moscow: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has praised Russian scientists who have reached a gigantic freshwater lake in Antarctica hidden under more than two miles of ice.
Putin on Friday hailed the discovery of Lake Vostok as a "great event" in remarks carried by Russian newswires, and said the research team members will receive state awards.
The Russian researchers hit the lake Sunday at a depth of 3,769 meters (12,366 feet) about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) east of the South Pole in the central part of the continent, after more than two decades of drilling.
Touching the surface of Lake Vostok, the largest of nearly 400 subglacial lakes in Antarctica, was a major discovery avidly anticipated by scientists around the world who expected it to hold life from the distant past and clues to the search for life on other planets.