The existence of life on the planet's oven-hot surface is unimaginable.
But microbes could survive and reproduce, experts say, floating in the thick, cloudy atmosphere, protected by a sunscreen of sulphur compounds.
Scientists have even submitted a proposal for a Nasa space mission to sample the clouds and attempt to return any presumed Venusians to Earth.
"Venus is really a hellish place," said Professor Andrew Ingersoll, of the California Institute of Technology.
"If you could get through the sulphuric acid clouds down to the surface of Venus you'd find it was hotter than an oven. You could melt lead at the surface of Venus and there'd be no water."
But it was not always like that. Earth and Venus are in many ways sister planets.
"Current theories suggest that Venus and the Earth may have started out alike. There might have been a lot of water on Venus and there might have been a lot of carbon dioxide on Earth," Professor Ingersoll explained.
But all that was to change. On Earth, life in the oceans took in carbon dioxide and turned it into limestone. On Venus, 30% closer to the Sun, any oceans boiled away and the water vapour added to the runaway greenhouse effect.
Venus became our planet's ugly sister. Its make-over, which occurred billions of years ago, has left a surface where the pressure is crushing.