From here to the south pole, 1,000 miles further inland... conditions become even more hostile for life.
Winds driving over the east antarctic ice sheet can reach speeds of up to 200 miles an hour.
As these Gale-force winds descend from the ice sheet, they pick up both speed and warmth.
They create the most arid conditions on earth.
These aren't snowdrifts. They're sand dunes.
Some of these so-called dry valleys have not felt rain in over a million years.
Carved by the wind, strange monuments up to four metres tall stand on the desolate valley floor.
The only life form... a mummified crabeater seal that mysteriously strayed here, possibly thousands of years ago.
But if you look hard enough... life can be found in Antarctica's interior.
Hidden in the mountains of eastern Antarctica, lake untersee.
A little over ten years ago, scientists dived beneath its frozen surface.
And made a discovery that would change our perception of the possibility of alien life.
Lying on its iakebed are living structures found nowhere else on earth.
Giant stromatolites... standing half a metre tall.
Their existence down here provides an extraordinary insight into how life on our planet might have evolved.
These living structures have been built over thousands of years by arguably the most important microorganism on earth.
Cyanobacteria. The very first living organisms to have produced oxygen.
Without them, earth would have remained uninhabitable for higher life forms.
If the building blocks for life can be found here, in the most hostile place on earth,
surely life could exist in the ice-covered lakes of distant planets.