As glaciers melt and slowly recede from the land they once covered, we don’t really know what we’re going to find there. Scientists have already found plants that have been chilling out under glaciers for about four centuries — plants that, now that they’re out from under the ice, have decided to start growing again.
These plants are of a specific type, called bryophytes. Plants like this (moss is one example) don’t have vascular tissue to shuttle water and nutrients around, which means they deal better with harsh Arctic winters. When a team of scientists from the University of Alberta was poking around the receding Teardrop Glacier, they happened upon a patches of bryophytes sneaking out from under the ice — “these huge populations coming out from underneath the glacier that seemed to have a greenish tint,” the lead researcher, Catherine La Farge, told the BBC.