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Science & Technology

'Zombie' bacteria found deep beneath the Earth

By T.K. Randall
December 11, 2018 · Comment icon 22 comments

Life has found a way to thrive miles beneath our feet. Image Credit: NASA
Scientists have revealed that an incredibly large amount of life exists in our planet's deep subsurface.
The discovery was announced following a ten-year study by an international team of researchers who examined samples retrieved from mines and boreholes up to 3 miles beneath the surface.

This remarkable 'deep biosphere' contains up to 23 billion tons of living organisms - that's the carbon equivalent of up to 385 times the entire human population of the Earth.

It is now believed that as much as 70% of all the Earth's bacteria and archaea live in the subsurface.
The find is particularly intriguing because it opens up the possibility that life on our planet started deep inside the Earth and then later migrated towards the surface.

It also suggests that similar life forms might exist beneath the surface of other worlds such as Mars.

"Even in dark and energetically challenging conditions, intraterrestrial ecosystems have uniquely evolved and persisted over millions of years," said geomicrobiologist Fumio Inagaki.

"Expanding our knowledge of deep life will inspire new insights into planetary habitability, leading us to understand why life emerged on our planet and whether life persists in the Martian subsurface and other celestial bodies."

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (22)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #13 Posted by XenoFish 5 years ago
A high IQ means nothing if you can't do anything with it. Common sense is a better gage of actual intelligence.  From what I've seen so far. Common sense is on the near extinct list. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Nnicolette 5 years ago
Do you expect me to do tricks for you? I have no use for gages. I'm much more interested in the topic. Its led me to learn how fascinating eels are. They are subterranean creatures actually and travel through aquifers, mud and underground. They can take oxygen in through thier skin so they dont even have to breathe down there. They often appear in freshly dug wells from underground and also have the ability to climb over land. If they can do it imagine what's in the more cavernous areas down there. Not too mention they travel the ocean to spawn and coordinate with groupers to hunt. Apparently ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by moonman 5 years ago
"My IQ is over 160!!!1!" -thinks water filters are illegal- Something isn't jiving here...   On the topic of "IQ testing" - IQ tests are a load of BS, especially ones found online.  
Comment icon #16 Posted by kidagakash 3 years ago
This article makes no actual reference to zombies, implied or otherwise. Misleading title.
Comment icon #17 Posted by XenoFish 3 years ago
The research team discovered that living organisms can be found at a record depth of 5km under the continents and 10.5km under the seabed. This life constitutes what they called a "subterranean Galapagos" — an ecosystem holding some 70% of the world's bacteria, including unusual and unknown creatures such as microbial life thriving at 121 degrees Celsius or "zombie bacteria", which can reproduce or live for millions to tens of millions of years. The above is from the first link. Barely living “zombie” bacteria and other forms of life constitute an immense amount of carbon de... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by kidagakash 3 years ago
I know I read the one at the bottom, I may have assumed that since it was "full article" that the other link was an abridged version of the same source and unnecessary. It is definitely an unprecedented discovery, and a fascinating mechanism for biological sustainability, and I'd call it wierd yes compared to what we're used to, but I am *really* particular about certain words, and the word zombie is something that died and became reanimated but is still dead. It's biological process is done. This definition is certainly up for debate in pop culture, and any word can be used, but I was hoping ... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Nnicolette 3 years ago
How is this even slightly related to any of the opinions I presented? Weirdo.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Nnicolette 3 years ago
You do realize that filters that remove fluoride ARE illegal where I live right? Not that any of this post is even sensible enough to elicit a response... And yes my iq test was 198 in the 5th grade, before the internet was as widely used for this type of thing. How do you find that relevant to anything whatsoever besides your own displayed mental inadequacies? Thinking you have a clue about my tests in school would be a pretty idiotic assumption requiring the usual level of random grasping at feeble ideas and using them to make assumptions to fit baseless narratives on UM. Tf does that have... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by XenoFish 3 years ago
Why do you even care what I think? Plus that's a two year old comment. What the hell?
Comment icon #22 Posted by Eldorado 3 years ago
Barely living "zombie" bacteria and other forms of life constitute an immense amount of carbon deep within Earth's subsurface......

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