You’re probably wondering what happened with the Harmless Ice Monster Project I told you about a little while back. Well, good news – nothing.
If you recall, they were about 20 meters from drilling into a lake sealed away under two miles of Antarctic ice for the last fifteen million years, and they only had a week to cover that distance because the winter was coming and also there was some political wrangling – a bunch of busybodies thought maybe they ought to leave the pristine environment alone.
Yes, they were hard at work building a monster movie the last time we checked in on them, so let’s see how they’re doing now.
Here’s the most recent update, conveniently titled Updated: No breakthrough to Antarctica’s Lake Vostok, in which we learn that:
“drilling stopped from 26 to 30 January, while scientists measured the densities of drilling fluids, widened the hole’s diameter in upper layers, removed slime, added Freon where needed, and prepared to upgrade their electrico-mechanical drill pump.”
So right off the bat, you and I are probably thinking the same three things:
- Why do they need freon two miles under the ice with the Antarctic winter looming near? Isn’t freon a refrigerant? I’m not sure I’d be heading in that direction.
- That is a decidedly awkward name for whatever kind of equipment you are upgrading to. That sounds like someone explaining something to Sherlock Holmes a hundred and ten years ago. And don’t you think a few days before the project’s over is a weird time to upgrade?
- Did you guys just say you were cleaning up a bunch of slime?
Yes, they sure did say that, and they said it with a completely straight face, like it’s a normal thing. All three of those things range from vaguely creepy to sinister, just kind of dropped in there. As in, “Yeah, I got up this morning, brushed my teeth, showered, ate a live cat, and then grabbed the paper and hopped on the bus.”
Dudes, I don’t normally think of slime when I think of Antarctica. If you’re in South America or maybe Columbus, Ohio, sure, rivers of slime all over the place. Horrifying and nasty and depressing but what are you going to do? But I thought everything was frozen down there, and if slime is frozen then it isn’t slime anymore.
What the hell. Kindly explain the slime, while you’re sitting there at the keyboard knocking out your report. That’s a really glaring omission, especially for a crew that’s been in denial about ice monsters this whole time.
In fact, it sort of makes one wonder if they really came short of drilling into Lake Vostok. According to my rather startling and peer-reviewed calculations, there is a nine hundred percent chance that prehistoric shapeshifting dinosaur people have eaten the Russian scientists who drilled into the lake, and then replaced them and started typing out reports.
Most likely they drink freon because they’re so weird and they were upgrading to their own amphibian Morlock technology. Remember, there’s a good chance they could look like this if they wanted to, since they’re shapeshifters:
No, listen to me, I’m serious. The Thing was about shapeshifters, or more like a sort of pile of shapeshifting goo, which was already a puppy dog at the beginning, sorry to spoil that if you haven’t seen it. And so what I’m saying is, there’s a precedent.
The Shapeshifting Underwater Dinosaur Goo Men then replace the drilling crew, but they have to eat them first or something. Then they can speak Russian because that’s somehow the way it works with them, they absorb your language. I mean it doesn’t have to make sense, we all saw them do it, you can shake your fist at the sky all you want.
So then they go to file their report, and although they can speak Russian, they are culturally a little ignorant, and so they don’t realize that it’s not normal to remove slime from things in Antarctica. They don’t realize that even if there were slime, you’d want to elaborate. That slime is almost never a casual type of thing.
It’s a pretty strong word, in fact. If they meant “algae” they’d have said “algae.” They must have meant slime. Slime means monsters. And they must be shapeshifting monsters since nobody seems to realize it but me.
Duh. It’s just logic, you guys – it’s not that hard.
And anyway if you want a far more mundane version of the story, here’s Antarctic Treaty no match for national pride. Which on a side note, let me say that I have no idea why these guys don’t capitalize their titles. I capitalize the hell out of my titles, even the little words, it’s like I’m yelling at you. You’re lucky I don’t use all caps.
Two spaces after my periods, too, every single time – screw you, typographers!
So like I’m saying, that article is by Andrew Darby, and he’s going to go on and on about how this all goes back to the collapse of the Soviet Union and The Antarctic Treaty and a beleaguered Russian Antarctic program, and generally all the stuff from an old monster movie in the first half hour, where all they do is talk.
He’ll tell you all about history and politics and treaties and the understandably complicated logistics involved in getting someone to stop doing something in the middle of Antarctica, if they really want to go do it. I mean even the simple stuff is extremely difficult down there – just imagine trying to assemble a grill or learn to tap dance, in the middle of Antarctica. Then imagine someone else is doing something like that, and you want him to cut it out.
But anyway, what Darby won’t tell you is anything about ice monsters or slime. So I think it’s pretty obvious that the Morlock Eskimo CHUD Monsters got to him. Then they released a bunch of calm, easygoing stories in the press about how well, we couldn’t quite make it. Nothing going on at Lake Vostok, just the normal hanging out, cleaning slime off of things. You know how it is.
By now, they’re probably all over the place. If they hadn’t already been eaten, you’d just want to grab these Russian scientists and shake them and use your best Stupid Voice to mock their ideas. “Oh, yes, let’s drill into the Horror Movie Lake. It’ll prove Russia’s great and we’ll get invited to parties.”
But hold on before you get out your flamethrower and go off all half-cocked, because almost every modern court in the world requires that you prove somebody is a shapeshifter before you baptize him or her in holy, cleansing fire. You don’t want to learn that one the hard way, no sir.
For now, we play a waiting game.