Antarctica wasn't always a barren land of emptiness, darkness and ice. Well, maybe darkness. But not the other stuff.
In March of 2017, scientists drilled into the arctic core of the Arctic Sea and unearthed a giant block of ice from its depths. Fast forward two years, after they conducted a thorough CT scan on the ice block.
What did they find? Pollen, spores, roots, and soil from 90 million years ago.
The earth used to be much warmer than it is now. Around 90 million years ago, during the mid-Cretaceous era, the sea surface was around 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius). Sea levels were much higher too.
Scientists estimate that the South Pole was around 50 degrees Fahrenheit some 90 million years ago. That is warm enough to grow a multitude of vegetables and support a wide array of land life and water life. Indeed, dinosaurs roamed the arctic!
Scientists don't yet know what caused the temperatures to shift so radically in the next 90 million years, but that's a long time for things to change. This discover really shows the circular nature of life on this great planet.
Most scientists believe that that the geography was comparable for New Zealand's South Island: