Probably, few know about the existence of this river, especially since it is located in Antarctica - the mainland, where rivers, as it was believed for a long time, simply cannot exist. This river is called Onyx. Despite the fact that its length is about 30 kilometers, it is the longest river on the Ice Continent. And Onyx flows only two months a year, the rest of the time it stands frozen to the very bottom.
The river is located in Victoria Land, Onyx flows from Lake Brownworth, and flows into another lake - Wanda. By Antarctic standards, the climate here is quite favorable, it can be warm in summer, which allows Onyx to free itself from the ice shell for a while. It was in this area on January 5, 1974 that one of the highest temperatures in Antarctica was recorded - plus 15 degrees Celsius.
It is believed that Antarctica is completely covered with snow and ice. This is not true. For example, the dry valleys of McMurdo, where the Onyx flows, are the largest territory in Antarctica, where there is practically no snow. And the total area of these valleys is about 8, 000 square kilometers. Snow simply does not linger here due to the strong winds constantly blowing over the valleys.
Fans of exotic fishing will have to upset - no fish is found in this river, only algae and microorganisms. The water level in Onyx is subject to very significant fluctuations, depending on the air temperature and the rate of melting of glaciers, which supply water to the river bed. But sometimes Onyx is quite "full-flowing". For example, in 1984 New Zealand extreme tourists were able to raft down the river.
The Wanda polar station, owned by New Zealand, operated on the coast of Onyx. The first expedition, in the amount of 5 people, worked here from January to October 1970. But, a quarter of a century ago, the station was closed. The staff of this station even built a small dam on the Onyx River.
Lake Vanda, into which Onyx flows, is hypersaline - the salt content in its water is much higher than even in the Dead Sea. It is covered with a thick layer of ice all year round; only in summer does the ice melt along the coast. In the lake, as in Onyx, fish are also not found. But the lake is famous for its "Royal Wanda Swimming Club". He then dares to plunge into the melted waters of the lake, receives the appropriate sign. Interestingly, the club even includes some well-known politicians.
In the New Zealand city of Queenstown there is Wanda Place Street, it got its name in honor of the Wanda polar station, which was located near the largest river in Antarctica.
In the dry valleys of McMurdo is another attraction of Antarctica - Blood Falls, which flows from the Taylor Glacier. The water flowing out of a small ice crack is indeed the color of blood. This is due to the fact that it contains a large amount of iron oxide. This unusual waterfall was discovered in 1911 by Australian geologist Griffith Taylor.