"A team of scientists has just left the country to explore a very strange lake in Antarctica; it is filled with, essentially, extra-strength laundry detergent. No, the researchers haven't spilled coffee on their lab coats. They are hunting for extremophiles -- tough little creatures that thrive in conditions too extreme for most other living things.
Antarctica's Lake Untersee, fed by glaciers, always covered with ice, and very alkaline, is one of the most unusual lakes on Earth. The upper 70 meters of lakewater is so alkaline "its pH is like strong CloroxTM," says expedition leader Richard Hoover of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "And to make it even more interesting, the lake's sediments produce more methane than any other natural body of water on our planet. If we find life here, it will have important implications."
Full text on: NASA