Scientists find microbial life on deep sea rocks; discovery offers hope of finding life on Mars

The new discovery has made the scientists believe that such tiny, clay-filled cracks in rocks on Mars or below its surface could also be housing such microoganisms.


Scientists have always been curious to know if life exists on other planets, especially Mars. Whenever they find microbial life growing in any extreme environment on Earth, they get filled with hope that they could find life on other planets.

According to a new study, published in the journal Communications Biology, researchers have found billions of bacteria present in tiny cracks in volcanic rocks beneath the ocean floor.

 Scientists find microbial life on deep sea rocks; discovery offers hope of finding life on Mars

Representational Image. Reuters

The bacteria were discovered more than nine miles below the ocean surface and an additional 300 feet below the floor of the ocean.

The new discovery has made the scientists believe that such tiny, clay-filled cracks in rocks on Mars or below its surface could also be housing such microoganisms.

While on a search for bacterial life, University of Tokyo geomicrobiologist Yohey Suzuki took almost a decade examining ancient volcanic rocks picked from the deep sea.

Suzuki and his colleagues examined samples of basaltic lava found 300 feet below the ocean floor and it ranged from 33 to 104 million years old.

Their study helped them discover single-celled microbial life in tiny cracks of the rock, rich with iron and clay. The scientists believe that iron content in the clay supports the growth of such large bacterial communities.

Suzuki said it was a dream for him when he found such rich microbial life in rocks. He also said that he is over-expecting that he could find life on Mars.

The study says that bacteria found is similar to how human cells make energy, a process that relies on organic nutrients in oxygen.


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