Alexis Madrigal reports in Wired:
Two polar scientists hot on the trail of an arctic mystery have a new tool for exploration: a hovercraft, specially outfitted for week-long trips over the ice with scientific instruments and solar panels.
Their quarry is a nearly 22,000 square-mile patch of disturbed Arctic sea floor that could be evidence of a massive asteroid strike. John Hall, a now-retired geoscientist, discovered the anomaly during his late-’60s graduate work aboard Fletcher’s Ice Island, a huge berg U.S. scientists inhabited for several decades.
Since then, no scientific vessel has been back over the area to collect more data. The massive icebreakers that have crunched through the Arctic since the 1990s can’t reach the spot, said Yngve Kristofferson, a scientist and explorer at the University of Bergen in Norway.