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Huge hidden ocean discovered under Chinese basin

3ac2836d-f3ab-49d3-8bf7-9e7890a5ed12_16x9_600x338A satellite view of the Tarim basin, which lies in the same area as China’s largest desert (NASA)

Chinese scientists have found what they believe is a massive hidden ocean hidden underneath a basin in the northwestern Xinjiang – one of the driest areas on earth, South China Morning Post reported.

The amount of salt water hidden underneath the Tarim basin could equal 10 times the amount of water found on all five on the Great Lakes in the U.S.

Scientists think that the water built up from melting snow trickling down from the mountains around the basin.

“This is a terrifying amount of water… Never before have people dared to imagine so much water under the sand,” said Li Yan, a professor who led the study at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital.

Our definition of desert may have to change,” he added.

While the basin is widely known to contain rich oil reserves, accessing them requires large amounts of water.

Like many scientific discoveries, Li’s team found the hidden ocean by accident.


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