Scientists in Antarctica reached Mercer Subglacial Lake on Dec. 26, finishing drilling over 3,500 feet of ice to find a sign of life surviving in the hydraulically active lake. The team drilled for two days with a high-pressure, hot-water drill, melting their way through the ice.
The lake lies under the Willans Ice Plain, part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. It is almost 62 square miles in area and was discovered over a decade ago through satellite imagery. This is the first time that it is being explored.
This is one of some 400 lakes that lay under the Antarctic ice sheets. According to experts, the existence of life there could mean similar organisms will be found on Mars or on Jupiter and Saturn’s ice-covered moons.
The Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA) research team released a statement that said, “After four days of troubleshooting components that sustained wear and tear from sitting through two winters on ice, the Drill Team began drilling the main borehole on the evening of December 23 and reached the lake faster than expected at 10:30 pm on December 26 with a borehole depth of 1084 meters.”
The team is comprised of 45 scientists, drillers, and other staff with other specializations. The day after they completed drilling on the hole, the team sent down an instrument to take measurements. In addition, they will send down a remote-controlled vehicle to get more pictures and take more measurements.
They hope that the vehicle’s three cameras will be able to capture images of the types of animals that may live in the dark water.
Nature magazine spoke to project leader John Priscu, a lake ecologist from Montana State University in Bozeman, who revealed: “We don’t know what’s going to be there.”
“That’s what makes it so fun,” he added.
In 2013, some of these researchers bored into a smaller subglacial lake nearby called Lake Willans, finding it teeming with microscopic lifeforms.
The team intends to study the lake by seeing how deep it is, measuring the temperature, and ascertaining how clean the water is. Two tests conducted thus far have shown the water is “as clean as filtered water can get,” according to the project’s principal investigator, Brent Christner.
25 of the Worst Cars to Ever Hit the Market
Much Ado About Nothing
There is no better way to describe the 2004 Chevy SSR than with this popular saying – “Much Ado About Nothing.” The designers were extremely dedicated to this car, yet they completely forgot to provide the fast and sporty features that the advertisements had suggested. Instead, it turned out to be a slow and safe type of car, which didn’t necessarily fit the image Chevy was trying to sell. As a result, the car only lasted a few months in the market before it was withdrawn and listed as a failure. Ouch!
When anyone, especially car fans, hear the word ‘Mustang,’ their eyes automatically light up. That wasn’t necessarily the case with the Mustang II, though. Its coupé design was attractive to the eye, and perhaps the reason why Ford was able to sell several models. However, consumers that bought the car took very little time to complain about its poor overall performance, giving the car a bad reputation. While the Mustang II was named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1974, there were still mixed reviews in which Consumer Reports recommended the AMC Gremlin instead.
Glitz & Glam
Lincoln Mark LT was an experiment between Lincoln and Ford that was just an unmistakable failure, so much so that it didn’t even reach a year of life before it was withdrawn from the market. Launched in 2002, the manufacturers wanted to create a kind of 4×4 luxury vehicle, which isn’t totally far fetched. However, the combination of its mechanics and glam style didn’t seem to fit well with the spirit of this type of truck. Better luck next time!
Some may not agree, but for many, the Chevy Bel Air ended being a complete flop. The reason? It truly was nothing special; all the company did was reproduce the typical car prototype of the ’50s, just on a larger scale. The main problem is that Chevy had always been associated with something more impressive, and this car simply wasn’t. On the other hand, however, the car was said to never have any mechanical problems. There’s always a bright side…
It seems a little strange to read the words ‘Lamborghini’ and ‘failure’ in the same sentence, but in this case, it’s necessary. The well-known Italian luxury car brand launched the LM002 model for the army, as a test. This vehicle was designed to withstand certain conditions; it was able to drive on terrain, far from the comfortable paved roads. However, the general buyer most likely lives in the city or suburbs, not the rocky mountains, hence why the Lamborghini LM002 truck may not have been able to succeed…
The 1970s were a rockin’ time, but some of the trends at that time can be considered somewhat questionable nowadays. In fact, the 1975 AMC Pacer may not have been the manufacturer’s smartest choice. The car may have been great on gas, meaning that it got good mileage, but it was also known to be an extremely unsafe vehicle. While driving experts could handle the look and feel of the car, it became more problematic for those that were less experienced in this art.
Even the best make mistakes sometimes. Maserati designed the Biturbo model as a “down market” step for the company, in an attempt to make the brand more popular and appealing to practical car owners. Simply said, it was the Maserati of the normal rather than the rich man. This meant that much of the quality and construction of the car was compromised. It got such a bad reputation after its initial launch that some think it’s the reason Maserati left the U.S. market from 1991 to 2002, although the model did continue to sell outside of North America.
Everyone knows about the fairytale of the Ugly Duckling. In this case, the ugly duckling is the Fiat Multipla. Plot twist is that the Fiat never actually turned into a beautiful swan because while the functionality of the car was near-to-perfect, the design definitely didn’t fit that description. As a result of this, only 426 copies of the car were actually sold, and it’s not hard for us to imagine the reason why. What we are still asking ourselves, though, is what were those 426 people thinking when they bought this car?
Another One Bites The Dust
Ferrari had a vision in the ’80s in which they wanted to revolutionalize the market with the Mondial 8, but that couldn’t have been further from happening. This model only ended up lasting two years before it was withdrawn from the market. It was said that the system horribly failed in this car. Despite all the praises during its presentation, the vehicle received the worst reviews once it was tested by drivers. Time even gave the Mondial 8 the title of the eighth-worst car of all time…
The Berlin Wall
When Germany was divided by the Berlin Wall, the country faced several problems internally, and car manufacturers were no exception. The eastern part created its own version of the Beetle known as the Trabant, but they never imagined that the car would be such a failure. The car had no seat belts, it lacked a fuel gauge, and the hood needed to be opened up in order to add more fuel. Despite its outdated design, however, the car was actually manufactured until the end of the 1980s.
Things Are Not Always As They Seem
Morgan Plus 8 is a sports car that was reintroduced to the the U.S. market in 2012 after being withdrawn in 2004. This case is a bit more controversial, as the U.S. converted to propane as fuel in order to pass the emissions regulations from 1974 to 1992. This essentially meant that the car created the feeling that it was going much slower than it actually was, which is something that can obviously be dangerous for drivers. Still, it is difficult to classify this car as one of the worst.
There is a reason why this aesthetically criticized car was a bestseller in several countries around the world. And is that because the Smart Car was an ideal solution for crowded cities in which finding parking is a daily problem. Its size made it easy to park the car pretty much anywhere. On the other hand, this meant that the engine was located in the rear, leaving the cooling system in the front. In short, driving the Smart Car around on a hot day was like sitting in a sauna…
A picture is worth a thousand words, including this picture of the Peel Trident. It took very little time for the car to be taken out of the market, since its appearance didn’t really convince the public. After all, it was a toy car with reduced space, so even two people would have trouble sitting inside this child’s toy. The idea, however, has lasted and different models have been seen with the same idea of saving space.
Some consider this car to be one of the ugliest cars on the planet, but the PT Cruiser was created with the idea of bringing back a design from the past, with a modern twist. The problem was that manufacturers didn’t hit the spot in regards to the usual Chrysler performance, leaving much to be desired on the road, like gas mileage. As if that weren’t enough, the vintage design idea was less accepted since many now preferred cars with a more modern and sporty look.
It’s A Bird… It’s A Plane… It’s…
It’s neither a plane nor Superman, but rather a car that arrived in 1947 to add a stroke of style to the market. Inspired by what that era believed about the future, the Davis D-2 Divan was a three-wheeled convertible built by the Davis Motorcar Company between 1947 and 1949. It never became commercialized, though. The project manager was not realistic in terms of his financial estimates and investors eventually lost the invested capital. Consequently, the vehicle was left as an idea that was never actually put into practice.
Bubble Car Of The Future
Also called the ‘bubble car of the future,’ the Zündapp Janus was a microcar model made between 1957 and 1958. It happened to be the only car ever built by the company; they built 6,902 samples before ending production due to slow sales. It was difficult to distinguish the front from the rear of the car, and the unusual design was not pleasing to the eye. Even worse, the car could only reach a speed of 90 km/h. As a result of that, the car ended up being an absolute failure.
Dating back to 1967, the Suzuki Samurai has caused many people to have mixed feelings. While some love the vehicle, it hasn’t really gotten the best reputation. Being that the car is very top-heavy, it is considered “highly dangerous” and was actually removed from the U.S. market in 2012. Despite its troubled past in the U.S. market involving rollover issues, the Suzuki Samurai (aka Jimney) is still built today and continues to be a popular off-roader in many global markets.
The Saturn ION was a disaster of a car that was only sold from 2003 to 2007. It was uncomfortable, noisy, and the production quality was extremely poor. It was tough to drive, as the car always had mechanical issues. Some mismatches in the transmitter produced wiggles that could frighten an inexperienced driver. There were also several who complained about the key locking in the ignition position, or that the engine still ran even after the vehicle was turned off.
The Brightest Star
The Chevy Vega of ’71 was an absolute bombshell and was even named Motor Trend Car of the Year during its first year in the market. Everyone was amazed by it, until multiple complaints were made against the vehicle. The Vega’s problems tarnished both its own as well as General Motors’ reputation. Although the mechanical problems could be easily fixed, the car became widely known for a range of problems related to its engineering, reliability, safety, and engine durability. Despite a series of recalls and design upgrades, this model was discontinued in 1977.
The Chevrolet Citation was a groundbreaking bestseller as soon as it was released in 1980. Almost 1 million models were sold in the first year alone, and the public seemed super happy with the car. However, a famous magazine determined that the vehicle was a danger due to its defective design. Almost immediately, sales were highly affected by the negative reputation and they ultimately stopped producing the car in 1985. Today, the Chevrolet Citation is better remembered as a design failure.
Forgot An Important Detail
The ’90s was a decade of experiments, seeking the innovation of the future. In other words, many manufacturers opted for models that were failure after failure. The Plymouth Prowler is one of the best examples of this. The car was retro-styled and marketed from 1997-2002. Chrysler essentially created the Prowler without spending much time or energy on the power of the car. Consequently, the manufacturers ended up with a slow vehicle that they later retouched, but only sold with an automatic transmission.
Many are going to be surprised to learn that this model has been one of the most popular in the United Kingdom. This is the Reliant Robin, a small three-wheeled car produced by the Reliant Motor Company in Tamworth, England. The vehicle’s features didn’t really fit well with the American market, hence why it didn’t work there. In fact, seeing one of these in the United States is extremely strange and would definitely be a rare sighting.
3 Million Models Later
The Dodge Omni was a front-wheel drive, five-door hatchback, introduced by the Dodge and Plymouth divisions of Chrysler in North America in January 1978. The car brought the company back to life when it was going through one its worst moments financially. However, the Dodge Omni was listed as a car below expectations of what is acceptable according to experts. Several of its problems made driving complicated. Against all odds, however, the public did not stop buying it and more than 3 million models were sold.
This Can’t Be Real
In Europe it was called the Zele, and in America the Elcar, but in both places, it was a total failure. The Italian Zagato designed it with the expectation of adapting the needs of the public to a car. But the manufacturers forgot about the drivers in the end. Its inability to operate at high speeds didn’t help this vehicle, which was marketed in the mid-’70s. As if that weren’t enough, it needed 8 hours of recharging to return to operation.
The End Of An Era
The AMC Ambassador, manufactured in 1968, marked the end of the brand in the market before it was acquired by Chrysler. The model came with air conditioning, a rare feature at the time, which expected mass sales. But the design of the car failed in several aspects, and did not get approval by car experts. Although Ambassador was the longest continuously used nameplate in automotive history, the company could never recover from this setback. It was like the end of an era…