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Scientists discover signs of life below worlds deepest point

Scientists have discovered potential signs of life ten kilometres below the sea floor in the the deepest part of the worlds oceans, Mariana Trench.


Scientists discover signs of life below worlds deepest point
Image for representational purpose only

London: Scientists have discovered potential signs of life ten kilometres below the sea floor in the the deepest part of the worlds oceans, Mariana Trench.

Researchers, including those from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, have ventured to Mariana Trench located in the western Pacific Ocean.

They have used Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) to extract about 46 samples of serpentine from the ocean floor near the South Chamorro mud volcano, which they brought back to their lab for study.

Researchers said, serpentine is a mineral that forms when olivine in the upper mantle meets water pushed up from a subduction zone.

Such reactions produce methane gas and hydrogen, which could be used as a food source by microbes, researchers said.

Serpentine is pushed to the surface of the sea floor by hydrothermal vents, where the researchers found it.

They found trace amounts of organic material that was very similar to that produced by microbes living in more accessible places, the Phys.org reported.

It is possible that the serpentine samples are evidence of life living far below the surface, researchers said.

The team used data from prior studies to calculate how far below the sea floor the serpentine was formed, which allowed them to estimate that the possible microbes might live - about ten kilometres below the sea floor.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

(With PTI inputs)

 

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