HomeNewsNetherlands-Sized Reservoir of ‘Hidden Water’ Discovered on Mars

Netherlands-Sized Reservoir of ‘Hidden Water’ Discovered on Mars

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

Scientists now believe that man’s dream of water skiing on Mars may one day become a reality. That’s thanks to the huge reserve of water that they recently discovered just below the red planet’s surface.

Mars once had oceans of water, but they dried up a long time ago. Scientists have found some small pockets of water near the desert planet’s poles, but they’ve never found any large caches. Even though they suspect there were larger pockets of H20 there, scientists didn’t have the tools to locate them.

The European Space Agency’s ExoMars orbiter uses a new type of technology that can analyze hydrogen in Martian soil as it passes over the planet. Scientists noticed a large deposit of the element at the Candor Chaos, which they call the Grand Canyon of Mars. It stretches 15,830 square miles — about the size of the Netherlands. And about 40 percent of it is just below the surface.

This raises the possibility of Martian beaches. That mission Elon Musk keeps pitching is sounding better.

If we do hope to one day colonize Mars, finding water resources to exploit could be critical. Right now, this discovery provides a font of knowledge about our cosmic neighbor’s history.

“Knowing more about how and where water exists on present-day Mars is essential to understand what happened to Mars’ once-abundant water, and helps our search for habitable environments, possible signs of past life, and organic materials from Mars’ earliest days,” said ExoMars project scientist Colin Wilson.

Elon Musk Believes Will Land On Mars Within 5 Years

Elon Musk told Time magazine for his Person of the Year interview that his SpaceX rockets will land on Mars within the next five years. Musk has long-pitched the possibility of moving to the Red Planet.

Musk believes that humans must establish colonies on other planets in case of climate catastrophe here. He laid out his ambitious plan for what would happen after we reach the Red Planet.

“The next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there,” Musk told Time. “Sort of like a futuristic Noah’s ark. We’ll bring more than two, though — it’s a little weird if there’s only two.” 

But experts aren’t as optimistic about these plans. Musk has a history of making big claims and failing to meet expectations.

“Mars, with its CO2 atmosphere, might be a good place to grow plants if they are kept warm and watered, but it would be a terrible place to drop off animals, who need oxygen to breathe,” scientist Roger Wiens told The Daily Mail. “Humans might be smart enough to don oxygen breathing systems, but would an animal be smart enough to adjust such a system if it was falling off its face? I don’t think so. We would end up with a lot of dead animals. Let’s try botanical gardens first.”