An enhanced color view showing Pluto?s surface diversity is seen in a mosaic created by merging Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera color imagery with Long Range Reconnaissance Imager panchromatic imagery from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. The most detailed look at Pluto's surface to date has revealed an unexpected range of mountains, glacial flows, smooth plains and other landscapes, according to studies released on Thursday. Reuters/NASA

It is very much possible that the most distant rock of our Solar System, Pluto, may have nitrogen lakes that freeze and thaw. In a most shocking discovery by scientists, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has collected data that shows Pluto did not only have an ocean beneath its frozen surface but also lakes in the recent past. Internal heat from the core probably keeps the ocean in liquid state.

The most exciting part of the discovery is that the distant planet may once again have them in future.

“It seems fairly certain that there's a substantial layer of liquid water and other substances underneath this icy surface. But there is no information at this stage on the depth of the liquid water between the surface ice crust and rocky interior,” said astrophysicist Rob Soria from ICRAR-Curtin University.

It got weirder when scientists said that alien life may be swimming in the sea of ammonia and water just beneath the dwarf planet’s icy surface.

“We have examples of subsurface life on Earth never exposed to sunlight – they huddle around hydrothermal vents for energy and nutrients. This kind of life surprised us on Earth and made clear that subsurface oceans in our solar system may be able to support something similar,” said Swinburne University astrophysicist Alan Duffy.

Pictures taken from New Horizons have revealed features possibly carved by liquids. The photos also show a possible frozen lake located just north of Sputnik Planum. The lake measures about 20 miles across at its widest point.

Thus, will the dwarf planet status be changed for Pluto?

“Sadly, under current definitions, Pluto will remain a dwarf planet even with a subsurface ocean. The rule for clearing out its orbit just hasn't been met,” said Duffy.

Earth now seems to be different in our Solar System as there are now more worlds with subsurface seas, writes The Sydney Morning Herald.