A network of salty ponds may be gurgling beneath Mar’s South Pole alongside a large underground lake, raising the prospect of tiny, swimming Martian life. Italian scientists reported their findings identifying what they believed to be a large buried lake. They widened their coverage area by a couple hundred miles, using even more data from a radar sounder on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter. The scientists provide further evidence of this salty underground lake, estimated to be 12 miles to 18 miles across and buried 1 mile beneath the icy surface. They have also identified three smaller bodies of water surrounding the lake. Roughly 4 billion years ago, Mars was warm and wet, like Earth. But the red planet eventually morphed into barren and dry. The research team used a method similar to what’s been used on Earth to detect buried lakes. All this potential water raises the possibility of microbial life on – or inside Mars. High concentration of salt are likely keeping the water from freezing at this frigid location. The surface temperature at the South Pole is estimated minus 172 degrees Fahrenheit, and gets gradually warmer with depth. These bodies of water are potentially interesting biologically and future mission to Mars should target this region.