Research finds life 1,000 feet beneath ocean floor

A new study has discovered an abundance of microbial life deep beneath the ocean floor in ancient basalt that forms part of the Earth’s crust, in research that once more expands the realm of seemingly hostile or remote environments in which living organisms can apparently thrive. The research was done off the coast of Oregon near a sea-floor spreading center on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, by scientists from Oregon State University and several other institutions. It will be published Friday in the journal Science.

Researchers find 3,000-Year-Old Microbes in Mars-Like Antarctic Environment

Researchers drilling into Lake Vida, an Antarctic “ice-block” lake, have found the lake isn’t really an ice block at all. In the December 16 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team reveals that Antarctic Lake Vida may represent a previously unknown ecosystem, a frigid, “ice-sealed,” lake that contains the thickest non-glacial lake ice cover on Earth and water seven times saltier than seawater. Because of the arid, chilled environment in which it resides, scientists believe the lake may be an important template for the search for evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars and other icy worlds.