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World's largest canyon could be hidden under Antarctic ice

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If you are in awe of the Grand Canyon in the US, brace yourself for this: The world-'s largest canyon - over 1,000 km long and in places as much as...

London: If you are in awe of the Grand Canyon in the US, brace yourself for this: The world's largest canyon - over 1,000 km long and in places as much as one km deep, may lie under the Antarctic ice sheet, a team of scientists including Indian researchers has revealed.

The canyon system is made up of a chain of winding and linear features buried under several kilometres of ice in one of the last unexplored regions of the Earth's land surface - Princess Elizabeth Land (PEL) in East Antarctica.

Very few measurements of the ice thickness have been carried out in this particular area of the Antarctic, which has led to scientists dubbing it one of Antarctica's two “Poles of Ignorance.”The researchers believe that the landscape beneath the ice sheet has probably been carved out by water and is either so ancient that it was there before the ice sheet grew or it was created by water flowing and eroding beneath the ice.

In fact, the bed of Antarctica is less well known than the surface of Mars. Faint traces of the canyons were observed using satellite imagery.

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