Researchers have found thriving microbial life at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest site on Earth. The Mariana trench sits seven miles below sea level in the Pacific ocean. It’s a cold, dark, desolate environment long thought too hostile for life to exist.
But it turns out organisms can thrive at this incredible depth, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Sediment samples taken from the deep ocean trench in 2010 revealed that it contains almost 10 times more bacteria than the sediments at a shallower, nearby site that’s about 4 miles deep.
This is unexpected since the farther down you go, the less food you expect to find.
The microbes are able to survive on the remains of dead animals, algae and other microbes that float down the trench slopes, making it a surprisingly rich place for organic matter, scientists learned.
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