Researchers have discovered billions of bacteria living in tiny cracks in volcanic rocks beneath the ocean floor. Which is located more than nine miles below the surface of the ocean. Which is an additional 300 feet below the ocean floor. This gives them hope in finding life on Mars.
Scientists get hope in finding life on another planet. This hope is a result of their discovery of microbial lives surviving in some of the most extreme environments on earth.
Hydrothermal vents along the ocean floor are famous for sustaining bacteria. It is also famous for other life that converts minerals into energy, rather than light.
Previously, researchers have studied bacteria systems that were between 3.5 and 8 million years old. But 90% of the ocean floor is much older than that. Researchers have found that many single-celled microbial organisms are living in tiny cracks among the rock. These were rich with iron and clay.
The researchers believe the iron content in the clay found deep below the ocean floor supports the growth of such large bacterial communities. This study is published in the journals of the Communications Biology
Scientist gets Hope in Finding Life on Mars
These researches have made them believe that similar tiny, clay-filled cracks in rocks on Mars or below its surface could be a similar source for life.
“I thought it was a dream, seeing such a rich microbial life in rocks.” Yohey Suzuki, an associate professor at the University of Tokyo’s Department of Earth and Planetary Science, comments. He also says, “I am now almost over-expecting that I can find life on Mars. If not, it must be that life relies on some other process that Mars does not have, like plate tectonics.”
Similar to Earth, Mars also has a basaltic crust that formed four billion years ago. In recent years, subsurface water and methane have been detected on the Red Planet.
Curiosity has observed and drilled samples of rocks rich in clay from the lake bed.
The clay minerals present in those rocks on the Martian surface could be similar to those in the ocean rock cracks.
Research is still going on to find living organisms in other planets especially on Mars. But the recent research has given hope to the scientist on the possibility of living things on the red planet.