Science: Oasis

When the world was full of unexplored land, storytellers had it easy. Who could be certain that there were no such things as unicorns, rocs, two-headed men, hippogriffs, basilisks, amazons? The only sizeable blank spot left on the globe—the interior of Antarctica—has been written off by most romancers as hopelessly, unromantically cold.

But geologists with Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, who feels responsible for Antarctica, are more imaginative. Somewhere in Antarctica's forbidding interior, they speculated, there may be a hidden valley heated to tropical balminess by volcanic energy. There—just possibly—unknown fauna may be nibbling...

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