Who said that it’s mandatory to go to another planet in order to witness how peculiar creatures live? The Earth is thriving with unique organisms, as there are 8.7 million species discovered until the present moment. Not to mention that some scientists believe that the majority of the totality of species living on our planet wasn’t even discovered.
Luckily enough, humanity keeps making progress in the field. Only in 2019, there were 71 new animal and plant species discovered by California Academy of Sciences researchers. The list includes spiders, sea slugs, ants, flowers, lizards, fish, corals, and others.
Microbes brought back to life from the ocean floor
Microbes were found in 100-million-year-old sediment from beneath the ocean floor, and they were brought back to life. The researchers were stunned, as they can’t explain for the moment how the microbes could survive the harsh conditions.
What happened precisely is that the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology had been analyzing sediment samples located 12,140 to 18,700 feet beneath the ocean surface in the South Pacific Gyre. The marine microbes found were single-celled microorganisms.
The researchers gave the ancient microbes carbon and nitrogen substrates in the laboratory. During a period of 68 days, most of the nearly 7,000 cells responded positively to the new conditions, multiplying incredibly fast.
Steven D’Hondt, University of Rhode Island oceanographer and co-author of the study, declared:
What we found is that life expends all the way from the seafloor to the underlying rocky basement,
Those organisms are not only alive in the deepest, oldest sediment, but they’re capable of growing and dividing.
The findings indicate that if sediment accumulates at a slow pace, it can trap oxygen over time and thus allow microbes to survive for very long periods.
The new study was published in the journal Nature Communications.