Byjus Logo

Missing lakes with liquid water finally found on Mars

Team StoryWeavers|May 21, 2021, 06:14 IST| 81

In our recent #Origin story on Mars, you have read how our never-ending curiosity to explore the mysterious Red Planet has led us to so many surprise findings. Till date, several rovers have been sent to the planet, the latest being NASA’s Perseverance with a mission to explore, study, and collect valuable information to help planetary scientists.

Where did all the water vanish?

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) found evidence of the presence of water on the surface of the Red Planet. According to their study, about four billion years ago, the plant had abundant water – enough to cover the whole planet in an ocean that is about 100 to 1,500 metres deep. There were also water bodies like small pools, lakes, and even deep oceans. But a billion years later, the planet is as dry as a dessert. So where did all the water vanish?

Earlier studies hinted that Mars’ low gravity let water escape into space. But years later, a new theory dismissed that assumption.

Read More: Can NASA Scientists Dig A Hole On Mars?

The discovery!

Recently, the Mars Express mission confirmed this years-old theory of the presence of water on Mars. Created by the European Space Agency, the mission’s Mars-orbiting spacecraft discovered new liquid water ponds buried under the ice in the south polar region of Mars. This discovery also shows that about 30 to 99 per cent of the earlier missing water is also ‘trapped’ within minerals in the planet’s crust.

Earlier in 2018, the rover revealed one underground reservoir hinting at a possible habitat of life. But that finding was based on just 29 observations made from 2012 to 2015, which many researchers considered as ‘less enough’ to support the claim. The latest discovery confirmed that the lakes are spread over about 75,000 square kilometres — an area roughly one-fifth the size of Germany! The largest, central lake measures 30 kilometres across and is surrounded by three smaller ponds, each a few kilometres wide.

How did Mars Express discover the missing water?

Publishing in the Science journal, the planetary scientist Elena Pettinelli at the University of Rome said, “this time, we use a broader data set comprising 134 observations from 2012 to 2019. Along with that, the new radar instrument MARSIS also helped in identifying these hidden ponds by cruising the rocks.”

What is MARSIS?

Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding or MARSIS is a low frequency, pulse-limited radar sounder with a 40-meter long antenna. It sends out radio waves that bounce off layers of material in the planet’s surface and subsurface to locate water bodies and other materials. It can also characterise the surface elevation, roughness, and radar reflectivity of the planet to study the interaction of the atmosphere and solar wind in the red planet’s ionosphere. This technique is also used in radar sounder investigations of subglacial lakes in Antarctica, Canada, and Greenland.

Also Read: The story of life on Mars through rovers

Too salty to drink

Salty water in Mars. Credit: giphy

It is thought that any underground lakes on Mars must have a reasonably high salt content for the water to remain in liquid form. This could be a reason to not support any microbial life forms. “Lakes with a salt content that is about five times that of sea-water can support life, but as the concentration approaches 20 times that of sea-water, life is no longer present,” says John Priscu, an environmental scientist at Montana State University in Bozeman.

The debate

The presence of Martian pools is still a heated debate. While the recent finding supported the 2018 observation with more data, several researchers have also raised concerns such as the lack of an adequate heat source to turn the ice into water. Mike Sori, a planetary geophysicist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, for instance, says, “If the bright material is liquid water, I think it’s more likely to represent some sort of slush or sludge.

What other findings do you expect from Mars? Do tell us in the comments below.

About the Author

Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

Leave a Comment




August 28, 2021

It was super cool. And I enjoyed reading such an interesting article.

Chaitanya Jadhav

August 27, 2021

Wow! That’s great .What a amazing.
Thanks for the information


August 11, 2021

It is so amazing ???

Gayathri .n. manoj

August 7, 2021

It’s amazing ?


July 27, 2021

It is very interesting fact


July 26, 2021

So nice

Leeya Sara Johnson

July 23, 2021

thank you
i am so interested in planetary science

mudit maan

July 22, 2021

It mean life is sustainable in marsh???

Sohan RaviKumar

July 22, 2021

It is interesting

Fatima Yusuf

July 21, 2021

I love these facts!!

Dhaani Priya

July 21, 2021

Its amazing!!! ??

Namira shaikh

July 21, 2021

It is very interesting fact! I like it?

Niranjana kesavan

July 21, 2021

Thank you for the fun fact !!

Niranjana kesavan

July 21, 2021

WOW !! Lakes in mars !?

S L Yuvanthi

July 21, 2021

Want to live in mars


July 20, 2021


Trrishan Saha

July 20, 2021

Wow coooooooooooooooooooooooool!
We can see mars from our earth
There was discovered rust

That little planet।।।


Archita kakati

July 20, 2021


Sagar Jagadeesh Bhat

July 19, 2021

Wow ??? .It’s amazing . Thank for the information


July 19, 2021

It give me very important knowledge

Aman Krishna

July 19, 2021



July 18, 2021

Earlier studies hinted that Mars’ low gravity let water escape into space. But years later, a new theory dismissed that assumption.

venkatesh raj verma

July 18, 2021

I am an astrofiles , thank’s for giving this awesome information

Parth Sharadchandra Parbhane

July 18, 2021

This information is very useful for develop our general knowledge. ? ?


July 17, 2021

Very nice information for me I also wanna become an astronaut I also wanna know more and more about plants.Thanks.


July 17, 2021

In this way if oxygen and soil suitable for plants may lead to some chances to move to Mars and appropriate heat

#proud to be byjuite!!
Thanks Byjus


July 17, 2021

Hi! I am interested in the planetary science,
And about Mars planet I can say that it would be like our earth in past time!
Mars is a planet with earth structure so that we can expect that there can be life support with unbelievable creatures who live on Mars!
It’s reddish colour makes the Martian sky looks pink!
It had masses like mountain and holes created by asteroid.
The reason behind why I know much about Mars, my favourite planet near earth

Siddhartha Verma

July 17, 2021

Coool!!! I really hope that more such ponds and perhaps lifeforms are found on Mars!!!?

Adrij Sil

July 16, 2021


Jiya Gadhavi

July 16, 2021

Wow , it’s amazing

Shriram g gouda

July 16, 2021

My best planet is the earth because we live in the earth and only planet which consist of the life and it has all the features to protect us, and our planet earth is not hot or no colder than the Neptune and it also protect from the harmful rays of the sun,it as capability to do all thing and any planet of unvirese dos’n support life

Shukla Miral

July 16, 2021

It’s awesome ! I love to explore things on space and this information l liked the most!!!
Thank you!!

Kakku Veeran

July 16, 2021

Very so lucky I will take this kind of information I very stay another how is your true is topic very very good I am more than


July 16, 2021

Very nice

Vishnu priya

July 16, 2021

Wow!Thank you byju’s for posting this article ???

Shivashree iyer

July 16, 2021

Really a great information… I love to learn about space, stars ,motion and the whole universe…… … I am soo keen to learn more about it…..


July 15, 2021


Yashashree ravikiran palwe

July 15, 2021

Wow….! Super cool

Himika Bhakta

July 15, 2021

I have been waiting for this discovery in like forever!
Thankyou Byju’s


July 15, 2021

So nice ? Thanks for the information


July 15, 2021

Wow That’s so cool?! Discovery of Water in Mars ? But can you give some researches about Galaxies also ??

Shachi sukirti

July 15, 2021

wow ?. I really amazing to know about Mars.
I want to know more about planet and galaxies


July 15, 2021

Wow! It’s amazing

Akshat Aryan

July 15, 2021

Cool article


July 15, 2021

Amazing! I was actually surprised after reading this news. As Mars have 2 natural satellite(like moon ) I wonder if there would be Purnima(full moon day) they would see both the moons complete after many years and would be an big event for the planet.

Ishmam Mehnaz

July 15, 2021

Wow . Water on another planet

Veeksha Chatakonda

July 15, 2021

Can you make an article on galaxies or nebulas? I LOVE NEBULAS

Veeksha Chatakonda

July 15, 2021

Wow! really? I was amused with “water on mars”

Payal Jagtap .

July 15, 2021

That’s great ?…..
I love science very much …
Thanks for the information ? .

Aditri Dev Pandey

July 15, 2021

Wow! That’s supercool and amazing
Very informative

Swarnim Sharma

July 15, 2021

Love the topic. But I want to raise a question that if we discoverd every thing about Mars and opens up all the mistery so how we whole humans on earth will reach to the Mars………
Please answer my question…..

Swarnim Sharma

July 15, 2021

Love the topic. I want to ask if we discovered all the things about Mars and opens up all the mystery from it. Hoes would we reach there? I means the whole humans……
Please tell the answer

Arpita Naik

July 15, 2021

It’s an interesting fact….


July 15, 2021

Wow! so amazing!

Manya s o

July 15, 2021

1) When water interacts with rock, chemical weathering form clays and other hydrous mineral that contain water as part of their mineral structure. This process occurs on earth as well as on Mars. Mars however, is mostly tectonically inactive, and so the “drying” of the surface,once it occurs,is parmanent..

2) OMEGA detects mineral on the surface of Mars. Three in particular reveal the history of Martian water…… That suggested water flowed during the first few hundred million years of the planet’s history only. When these bodies of water were lost, water then occasionally burst from inside the planet but quickly evaporated.

3) MARSIS is a subsurface radar sounder with a 40- meter (130- foot) antenna on the Mars express orbiter that will search for water and study the atmosphere.

Adrij Sil

July 15, 2021

I am so exited now,for the question ” DO MARS HAVE LIFE ” ?

Saiansh khurana

July 14, 2021

What!!!!! Realy???!!!

Alina Khan

July 14, 2021

Thankyou for the information.I love to study about solar system and it’s planets.And I also loved that gif which explains the water is salty

Anumegha Khanra

July 14, 2021

wow. That is amazing. Maybe in the future, we can live on Mars.


July 14, 2021

I have a new title –
Water is found on the mars . Yaaaaa

Sampurnna Dutta

July 14, 2021

Thank you for this information, l am interested for this plant.

Arpita Naik

July 14, 2021

I like it


July 14, 2021

I am surprised to know this.

Ditipriya Roychowdhury

July 14, 2021

Woww!!!! Universal solvent on the red planet !!!!

Diya Nair

July 14, 2021

That was really cool and amazing information ?

Rohith. R

July 14, 2021

Scientists have researching the mars since many years. We know that There is no support life. But now we started knowing about Mars slowly. It was a great discovery. We are reaching the goal slowly. Its amazing!. And also thank for byju’s to giving interesting facts.


July 14, 2021

Cool!! Water in MARs, maybe we can live there ( if there is gravity ) after earth is destroyed

Devashish Mishra

July 14, 2021

It’s an amazing news


July 14, 2021

various types of soils ,they do not discovered in earth.


July 14, 2021

Hey,it was amazing I am very curious after reading it I want to go on Mars planet


July 14, 2021

Thank you for this information ?‍♀️
I love studying about the space and this information has been added to my list of fun facts and discovies
Keep sending such discovies with us.
Thanks again

Jyotismita Majumdar

July 14, 2021

So nice


June 27, 2021

Wow!! It’s an interesting fact….I really surprised..


June 19, 2021

I was amazing about the discovery of water in Mars

Akankshya p. Swain

June 16, 2021

In this planet no one leave and i can say this with much sure because it is reddish in colour means it is made up of dust , hydrogen and helium.Not only this planet but the other planets are also made up of hydrogen and helium.


June 9, 2021



May 31, 2021

Hi! I am interested in the planetary science,
And about Mars planet I can say that it would be like our earth in past time!
Mars is a planet with earth structure so that we can expect that there can be life support with unbelievable creatures who live on Mars!
It’s reddish colour makes the Martian sky looks pink!
It had masses like mountain and holes created by asteroid.
The reason behind why I know much about Mars, my favourite planet near earth!

Abhinav Kumar

May 31, 2021

Very informative ?.
Thank you for the informationʘ‿ʘ.

Shruti Jha

May 30, 2021

It’s fascinating! But how does MARSIS help in locating water?


May 28, 2021

Wow! That’s super cool and amazing! Discovery of Water in Mars!

Aishwarya Sinha

May 22, 2021



Join 100+MN Registered BYJU'S Users

Book Your Free Class Now

Thank you!

Your details have been submitted