These May Be the Deepest Traces of Life on Earth
Samples of serpentine from an underwater mud volcano include organic material that seems to be waste from microbes living deep beneath the surface.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OLIVER PLÜMPER, UTRECHT UNIVERSITY
By Claudia Geib
On Earth circa four billion years ago, life was hard. Frequent asteroid strikes turned parts of the planet into molten rock. Food and livable spaces were few and far between. What was a microbe to do to survive?
Some very early life could have made it by staying deep—living as far as six miles below the seafloor.
That’s the implication from a new study that found signs of microbes alive today below the deepest place on Earth, the vast underwater canyon called the Mariana Trench.
Read more over at National Geographic.