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According to a finding published in the journal Nature, a U.K.-Canadian team of scientists has discovered billion-year-old water deep underground from a mine that is 2.4 kilometers beneath Ontario. This water could be the oldest on the planet, and leads to the possibility of similar life being discovered on Mars.

These ancient pockets of water were analyzed by researchers from the Universities of Toronto, Lancaster, Manchester and McMaster. The researchers believe that this isolated deep underground water may contain chemicals that are known to support life.

Believed to be one of the oldest water samples ever found, the rocks that hold this water are similar to those found on Mars, raising hopes that similar life-sustaining water could be discovered in the depths of Martian polar ice caps.

On analyzing the water, the researchers have found that it is rich in dissolved gases such as hydrogen, methane and other forms of noble gases like argon, xenon, helium and neon. The researchers state that the hydrogen content in the water is as much as that found around hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean.

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