A Mysterious Radioactive Heat Source is Melting Antarctica from Below This week, the latest bizarre Antarctica news concerns a mysterious, radioactive heat source melting the Antarctic ice sheet from below. Is this one of those crashed alien spacecraft the Google Earth people keep warning us about, or just some unknown geothermal process? Of course it’s gonna be some boring rock phenomenon. It’s never aliens. Until it is. Scientists with the the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) found areas of the Antarctic Ice Sheet were melting unexpectedly quickly and used radar to peer through three kilometers of ice to determine what might be causing the melting. What the researchers discovered is an area twice the size of London which appears to be melting from the bottom up. The researchers found that unusually radioactive rocks and hot water bubbling up from deep within the Earth were causing the melt, and the source of the radioactivity remains unknown. Thus, while the usual boogeyman of climate change can’t be cited as the cause, Dr. Tom Jordan from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) says this new phenomenon could speed up the melting caused by global warming: The discovery of this phenomenon was completely unexpected and shows how much more we have to learn about Antarctica. In many ways, the icy continent is one of the last great frontiers here on Earth – at least above the ocean. What secrets will it reveal in the future? .