Stofan says finding liquid water is something scientists are extremely interested in scientifically, “because life here on Earth evolved in liquid water. It stayed in the oceans for over a billion years. And so as we go outward from the Earth, looking for evidence of life beyond Earth, we’re always looking for liquid water.”
The water in the Martian underground lake is probably salty, otherwise it would freeze solid, even deep in the ground, Stofan says.
And the salts are mostly likely made up of something called perchlorates, “which are very toxic to life here on Earth. But on Mars, who knows?”
It’s not clear where the water the Italian team found is coming from, and it’s not certain there are any other underground lakes to be found. But you can bet the new results will encourage others to look.