The picture provided above is known as Blood Falls, which is located in East Antarctica on the surface of West Lake Bonney. Don’t fret over its blood-esque appearance, however. What is actually flowing down this glacier is mere saltwater, enriched with high concentrations of iron oxide.
To understand, millions of years ago sea levels had risen so high that East Antarctica had been engulfed by a salty lake. A few million years later, this lake had frozen over with glaciers forming on top of it. As a result, the lake was then completely cut off from the atmosphere, preserved some 400 meters below the glacier surface. The colder the surface became, the saltier the water below it got, resulting in it not only becoming freeze-resistant, but also 3x saltier than normal saltwater.
Given the fact that the lake is completely cut off from the atmosphere – meaning no oxygen, nor sunlight – whenever it seeps through glacial fissures and makes its way out in the open, as soon as it comes into contact with the atmosphere’s air the iron-rich water begins to rust. As a result, as the water begins cascading down the glacier into Lake Bonney, it then immediately leaves behind a blood-red stain. Absolutely fascinating, if you ask me!
Perhaps Bill Nye should’ve presented this picture during his debate with Ken Ham. Then again, instead of recognizing the scientific fact that this process took millions of years to develop, he’d probably instead claim the iron-rich water to be the blood of Christ, or some stupid shit like that.
For more info on Blood Falls: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Falls