Scientists used to think that the hot and dark underground environment would be inhospitable to life:
Researchers have uncovered the first direct evidence of resident microbes in Kidd Creek Mine, a 3-kilometer-deep copper and zinc mine in Ontario. The findings, published last month (July 18) in Geomicrobiology Journal, confirm previous work indicating that ancient, sulfate-rich water in the region could support what researchers call “deep microbial life,” and add to growing evidence that there’s a vast biosphere thriving in the Earth’s crust that has little or no interaction with the surface.
“This paper is groundbreaking, so to speak,” says John Spear, a microbial ecologist at the Colorado School of Mines who was not involved in the work. “They were able to get an idea of the amount of native microbial biomass . . . and they were able to confirm that the waters that the microbes are living in are host waters—they’re not contaminated or impacted by water coming from the surface.”Catherine Offord, “Scientists cultivate sulfate-reducing microbes from some of the oldest-known water on Earth.” at The Scientist
How they got there is apt to be a cause of speculation.
See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips – origin of life What we do and don’t know about the origin of life.
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