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For decades, scientists have speculated about what may have happened to all the water on Mars, which is believed to have been a substantially wetter planet eons ago. Some water can be found frozen in the Martian polar ice caps, but new research indicates there's also a shocking amount of water in Mars. The discovery could have a major impact on developing plans to harvest water for a future human presence on the red planet.

It's been largely presumed that as Mars' ancient atmosphere was gradually sucked out into space, much of its surface water went with it. But a new NASA-backed study suggests a significant portion of all that Martian moisture is still on the planet, trapped in its crust.

"Atmospheric escape doesn't fully explain the data that we have for how much water actually once existed on Mars," Caltech Ph.D. candidate Eva Scheller said in a statement. Scheller is lead author of the study published Tuesday in the journal Science.

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