MNN Galleries

The 14 most amazing waterfalls in the world

April 26, 2011, 1 p.m.
Blood Falls

Photo: Peter Rejcek/Wiki Commons/public domain

3 of 16

Blood Falls

This eerie and mysterious blood-red waterfall is located in remote Antarctica. The red color is partially the result of saltwater tainted with iron oxide, but the real mystery of these falls is what lives in the water. Water samples contain almost no oxygen, but at least 17 different types of alien-like microbes have been identified slithering around in the blood-like water. Scientists surmise that they survive via a metabolic process never observed in nature that utilizes sulfate as a respiratory catalyst with ferric ions, metabolizing trace levels of ancient organic matter trapped underneath Antarctica's vast glaciers.