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Life Found In Deepest Layer of Earth's Crust

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the gabbroic-added-to-spellchecker dept.

Earth 335

michaelmarshall writes "For the first time, life has been found in the gabbroic layer of the crust. The new biosphere is all bacteria, as you might expect, but they are different from the bacteria in the layers above; they mostly feed on hydrocarbons that are produced by abiotic reactions deep in the crust. It could mean that similar microbes are living even deeper, perhaps even in the mantle."

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Living under surface (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283444)

This got me thinking an interesting idea.

Why don't humans populate more of the inner earth? Sure, most people don't like the environment just like that, but you can build it. Make fake environments. In the end, they will look and feel natural too. You can also easily get rid of gasses and other pollution problem by dumping them upwards.

And if you go deep enough, who owns the land? Can you start a new country like lets say, 50 kilometers below surface?

Re:Living under surface (5, Funny)

Philomage (1851668) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283472)

Gentlemen, we cannot afford to allow a mineshaft gap!

Re:Living under surface (5, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283514)

You feel like financing this project? And setting up contingincies for things like "there is a leak and the pacific is starting to seep in"? And dealing with the phenomenal pressures that will be exerted?

Re:Living under surface (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283958)

Oh that's easy. You just need lots and lots of unobtainium. No problem.

Re:Living under surface (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283520)

I don't know how to describe it - I can give you a list of problems, like Ventillation, Heating, Vitamin D - which all have obvious solutions available,

but they just aren't as efficient as living on the surface.

Re:Living under surface (2, Insightful)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283606)

"I don't know how to describe it - I can give you a list of problems, like Ventillation, Heating, Vitamin D - which all have obvious solutions available,"

You mean cooling. In deep mines, it gets pretty hot. Temperature increases by 30-50 degrees Celsius for each kilometer of depth.

Re:Living under surface (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283736)

Yes - I knew that too - I just couldn't think of the word for conditioning air...

Re:Living under surface (1)

Shark (78448) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284024)

In that specific case 'cooling' might be a pretty good choice.

Re:Living under surface (1)

Captain Murdock (906610) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283540)

You might as well go live in a desert. Plenty of land out there and I'm sure the cost of trucking in water would be much less than creating a livable environment under the surface. What you're suggesting would not be worth it unless we actually ran out of surface space.

Re:Living under surface (2)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283656)

What you're suggesting would not be worth it unless we actually ran out of surface space.

I'm not even sure it would be worth it then. Wouldn't living on or under the oceans be cheaper than living underground?

Re:Living under surface (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283756)

floating on the ocean would be way cheaper than living under it, and hell people have been doing it for months at a time for thousands of years... all you have to do is scale up.

Re:Living under surface (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283862)

I'd think storms would be a significant problem.

Re:Living under surface (3, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284018)

So just design the structure so that it floats. Maybe call it a boat, or a ship or something. Probably something that cruises around the ocean. I mean it worked for houses with wheels...you never hear of a trailer park getting hit by a tornado.

Re:Living under surface (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283818)

You might as well settle somewhere else in the 70% of wilderness we have in the US. Overcrowding and an urban sprawl are caused by people settling near each other and the lack of pioneer spirit, not because of a lack of unused territory. That might not be true of China and India, but our average population density is quite low.

Re:Living under surface (3, Funny)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283584)

It's fastest with a diamond pick.

Re:Living under surface (1)

Captain Murdock (906610) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283686)

Too bad the world isn't like Minecraft. :-(

Re:Living under surface (3, Funny)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283828)

s/Terrorist/Creeper

Re:Living under surface (3, Insightful)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283660)

Central Greenland or the depths of the Gobi desert would be even easier, and there's plenty of room.

Re:Living under surface (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283986)

Interior Alaska, northern BC/Manitoba/Alberta/Saskatawan/Ontario/Quebec, Siberia would be easier than both of those and theres a ton of room and next to no people.

Alaska - 586,000 square miles and 700,000 people
Island of Great Britian - 85,000 square miles and 60,000,000 people

One could fit two Great Britians in the Yukon and have land left over.

The planet doesn't have too high of population density, it has distrubtion of population problems

Re:Living under surface (2, Informative)

pk001i (649678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284058)

Those are both continental crust, which a different animal. You would never actually hit either basalt or gabbro in continental crust, because continental crust is chemically different than oceanic crust. Also one of the goals of IODP expedition 304* and 305 was to drill through the oceanic Moho, the seismic reflection that defines where crust stops and where mantle begins. At the Atlantic Massif, this is pretty close to the surface due to its location adjacent to the Mid-Atlantic spreading center, and was thought to exist at depths less than 1 km. On continental crust the Moho is much deeper, normally 60-80 km deep. Drilling 1 km in the ocean is easier than drilling 60 on land. *Disclaimer, I sailed 304.

Re:Living under surface (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283754)

Reading all the replies to this post makes me happy. There *do* appear to be rational, sane logical adults here. But go to a Space Nutter thread and suddenly it's "We must colonize the universe!" "For the species!" "We're running out of room!" "Wahh!"

Proof yet again Space Nuttery is the realm of schizoid, deluded, paranoid quasi-religious doomsday-cultist fruitcakes with no grasp of reality.

Now go straighten your 1970's space posters, space wackjobs.

Re:Living under surface (1)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283850)

Well, we should *eventually* make arrangements to spread about. But its not realistic to expect it within several lifetimes from now.

Re:Living under surface (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283864)

While we're not running out of room, at least in most parts of the world, we are running the risk of running out of food and clean water. Space doesn't do you a damned bit of good if you haven't got food and water.

Re:Living under surface (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283882)

The ownership of the subsurface would belong to the surface owners all the way to the core.

Now some rights - water and mineral rights - don't always belong to the surface holder, an example in the US is on Indian Reservations, mineral rights remain under the control of the US Department of Interior.

50 km under Kansas would still be Kansas.

We don't populate the subsurface because it's a nasty place, hot and wet.

Radiation? (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283908)

Radiation could be an issue, depending on what's in the local rock.

Re:Living under surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283966)

And if you go deep enough, who owns the land? Can you start a new country like lets say, 50 kilometers below surface?

Andrew Ryan, is that you? What are you doing, posting on Slashdot?

Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?

"No," says the man in Washington; it belongs to the poor. "No," says the man in the Vatican; it belongs to God. "No," says the man in Moscow; it belongs to everyone.

I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible! I chose...

I look forward to defeating you !!

Re:Living under surface (3, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283968)

But if you dig too deep, you will release the clowns. Nothing says oops like busting through an adamantine cavern and finding yourself facing a spirit of fire.

Re:Living under surface (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284032)

You could call the continent Zion and make crazy ships that can fly up to the surface. You have to be careful though, since once the robots take over, they will have good defenses to protect themselves. It is cool though since we have Keanu Reeves

Re:Living under surface (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284044)

Why don't humans populate more of the inner earth?

I can think of several reasons.

  1. There's no need to. There is plenty of land aboveground.
  2. Most toxic gasses (esp corbon monoxide) are heavier than air and hard to pump out
  3. It gets hotter the further down you go
  4. Do YOU want to live in a windowless space?
  5. travel to and from the surface would take a LOT more time than an equal distance travelled on the surface
  6. The whole idea is energy-intensive at a time when we need to conserve energy

That's just a few reasons from the top of my head.

Re:Living under surface (1)

clintonmonk (1411953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284086)

Why don't humans populate more of the inner earth?

You've read H.G. Wells' book The Time Machine, right? Didn't work out too well for them.

Re:Living under surface (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284098)

Sure it's easy, no problems. Tell that to Durin, we all know what problems he found.

Just proving the rule.... (2, Funny)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283474)

yet again, life is ubiquitous.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit202 (1943250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283508)

what rule? what proof? is death not more ubiquitous? is nothing not more ubiquitous than both?

you're an idiot.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283538)

To die, first a thing must live. Therefore, death can not be more ubiquitous than life.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (-1, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit202 (1943250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283646)

all things that have died are OBVIOUSLY more ubiquitous than all things that HAVE lived.

DEATH IS FOREVER.

you're an idiot.

slashdot = stagnated

Re:Just proving the rule.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283870)

Something has to live to die. Therefore all life > all life that died, by *definition*. You are the idiot if you don't understand *simple logic*.

And the original has a very good point - life is ubiquitous. Heck, it seems life is nothing else than another of the processes of the universe to increase entropy. Life is like rust or fire, but much more efficient.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

MichaelKristopeit202 (1943250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283974)

considering life requires other life to create it that will also die, *you're an idiot*. i understand logic as well as anyone can.

there is more death currently in existence than there is currently life in existence. claiming otherwise is ignorant.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34284026)

Trollin trollin trollin, keep them doggies rollin, Rawhide!

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283678)

It can't be less, either.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283680)

To die, first a thing must live.

Life has a 100% chance of being a terminal disease ;)

Re:Just proving the rule.... (-1, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit200 (1943246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283744)

considering all life turns to death while death remains constant, you're completely ignorant.

therefore, you're an idiot

Re:Just proving the rule.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283566)

Someone doesn't know their Goldblum. What are they teaching kids these days?

Re:Just proving the rule.... (-1, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit201 (1943248) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283666)

goldblum = life finds a way.

retard = life is ubiquitous

why do you cower? what are you afraid of?

you're completely pathetic.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283784)

"Ubiquitous" doesn't mean "lasts forever". It means "existing everywhere at the same time". A company can have an ad that is ubiquitous, for example - it seems to be everywhere. Of course, in the history of the universe, that company's ads don't exist for much long than they do exist, and they don't last forever. But they are ubiquitous.

So in the context of the OP, "life is ubiquitous" is a valid, if unproven, assertion that has nothing to do with death.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

MichaelKristopeit200 (1943246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283804)

if life is everywhere, then death can be nowhere.

you're an idiot.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283900)

It's not either/or in this case.
Everywhere where there is life, there is death.
The one state follows the other.
Ergo if life is everywhere, death is everywhere,
not nowhere.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

MichaelKristopeit200 (1943246) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283928)

the one state lasts forever and is the only final state for all life.

claiming life is ubiquitous is ignorant.

ergo anyone who would claim as such is ignorant.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283976)

I take it you're not a native English speaker, as you clearly don't understand the meaning of the word. It has nothing to do with how long something lasts. You might want to buy an English-language dictionary sometime so you don't sound quite so ESL.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (0, Troll)

MichaelKristopeit161 (1934886) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283688)

the real flamebait was a moron posting obvious untruths.

slashdot = stagnated.

Re:Just proving the rule.... (3, Funny)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283594)

I for one welcome our ubiquitous underlords

Re:Just proving the rule.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283648)

No, it proves that the mole men are an independently evolved species that may be nearly as ancient as the earth it's self. These elusive creatures and their bacterial cousins obviously display a strength and robustness far beyond anything mere humans and other surface dwellers display. I for one welcome our new underground overlords.

Ergo oil (0, Troll)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283496)

Ergo the oil argument that much of our oil supply is made from bacteria and not old dinosaurs. If the bacteria is supplied from the crust inside the earth, the oil fields can replenish and oil becomes much more sustainable than before.

Any way you look at this the findings become politically charged as the impact this has on our future energy supply could be enormous. With a little bit of googling you can readily find oil fields from old that have mysteriously started refilling with oil.

Re:Ergo oil (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283536)

Even if the source is from bacteria instead of peat moss (not dinosaurs), that still doesn't address the rate problem. So far as we know, oil is basically stable at the levels we drill for it, it doesn't decompose into something else over time. If that's true, that means that the deposits that we have access to took millions and millions of years to become as large as they are; in other words, oil still isn't a renewing resource, even ignoring the other long term problems involved in burning hydrocarbons for our energy production.

Re:Ergo oil (3, Insightful)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283670)

Yes, the rate is the issue. I expect some fields would re-fill with oil, given the number of fissures and cracks that are probably around the field itself. The oil would drain into the well from these places, wouldn't it?

Re:Ergo oil (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284012)

Exactly. Someone once said before that drilling for oil is a lot like sticking a straw into a wet sponge, not a Capri Sun. It's a good analogy, I like it.

Re:Ergo oil (1)

Palpatine_li (1547707) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283996)

The last half is non-sense. If some carbon energy source is renewable, there is no long-term carbon dioxide effect because carbon is in the renewing cycle.

Re:Ergo oil (3, Funny)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283546)

That doesn't do anything about global warming, though.

Re:Ergo oil (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283902)

Actually, it does. If you're replenishing the oil using food sources from above ground, there'd be a minimal impact on global warming. The carbon would come from the atmosphere and go back.

Re:Ergo oil (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283614)

Wait a minute, these bacteria are feeding on hydrocarbons... they're not producing oil, they're eating it. Oil that rightfully belongs to us (and by us, I mean oil companies of course). Those bastards! I say we nuke them all. (The oil companies I mean, not the bacteria.)

Tonight is cunt night (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283630)

:)

Re:Ergo oil (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283636)

Oh, boy, now you have gone and done it, the oil supposed shortage is now a hoax, and everyone will definitely not be ready to jump to electricity thinking there is plenty of oil left in the world. I think it would be nice to live in a world of options, but if we do not get more people really into electric cars, and electric charging stations, we may never get off the oil industry, and remain slaves to those powerful few (2%) that control all the masses.

I agree with you, i never thought there was a shortage, but it is amazing how much propaganda is created by the oil cos themselves to generate even more revenue due to the supposed shortage. sick really if you ask me.

Re:Ergo oil (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283662)

I believe the argument is not that oil was made from old dinosaurs, but that it was made from old plants. Plants which have been growing continually since those that turned into oil.

The problem isn't that its not a replenishing supply. It is, as long as their is plant life.

The problem is that it takes millions of years to fill your gas tank.

A single pump can pull out more oil in a day than has been created during the entire span of human history.

Of course, thats assuming oil comes from plant matter and all that crap.

Either way, the amount of oil currently in the planet that we are aware of tells us that it is far too little of an amount for the rate at which its produced to be high enough to be sustainable on any scale we currently think of.

If the rate of replenishment was fast enough to keep up with our level of usage, the planet would have turned into one big ball of oil a billion years ago.

Doesn't matter HOW its created, its not sustainable at our current rate of consumption.

Re:Ergo oil (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283890)

"If the rate of replenishment was fast enough to keep up with our level of usage, the planet would have turned into one big ball of oil a billion years ago."

And if we didn't fish the oceans would be over flowing with fish and piling up on the shores. If there is a specific equilibrium that can be maintained sometimes getting it to that is fast enough. Over course even with fishing things can be overfished but it has been found that populations can rebuild very quickly in those examples as well.

Re:Ergo oil (1)

bratloaf (1287954) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283712)

Except that the bacteria mentioned are genetically closely related to "known hydrocarbon degraders" and "... results suggest that the gabbroic layer hosts a microbial community that can degrade hydrocarbons and fix carbon and nitrogen." Not exactly producing hydrocarbons, more like living off them.

Although, I do wonder what "It has been hypothesized that these hydrocarbons might originate abiotically from serpentinization reactions that are occurring deep in the Earth's crust" is all about...

serpentinization: a hydration and metamorphic transformation of ultramafic rock from the Earth's mantle

Hmm... So sounds like they are saying the hydrocarbons are likely produced by some hot water/pressure/mineral interaction. That's even more interesting than the bacterial production that I've heard bounced around (and generally dismissed).

Abiogenic Or Abiotic Oil Is The Term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283940)

For dining and dancing enjoyment, here's a list of references for Abiogenic oil [google.com] .

Yours In Akademgorodok,
Philboyd Studge

Re:Ergo oil (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284054)

The sheer amount of chutzpah passing in place of intelligence in this post is just... astounding. It's like stupid has become legitimized!

Ergo the oil argument that much of our oil supply is made from bacteria and not old dinosaurs.

Which has what to do with sustainability, again? You imply sustainability by mentioning it in the next sentence.

If the bacteria is supplied from the crust inside the earth, the oil fields can replenish and oil becomes much more sustainable than before.

I mean... wow! It's just like farming!

We know almost *nothing* about this process, except that the metabolic rate of these bacteria are mind numbingly slow. We're talking at rates where a single reproduction is a thousand years in length. Just how long are you willing to wait for your next tank of gas?

Any way you look at this the findings become politically charged as the impact this has on our future energy supply could be enormous

Unless, of course, you look at this with something other than stupid. Get that out of the way, and you see that this changes about as much the grass growth on your lawn over the next 3.5 minutes.

With a little bit of googling you can readily find oil fields from old that have mysteriously started refilling with oil.

This happens in all wells, either with Oil or Water. It's not like there's a bladder down under ground and we're going to empty it. Oil and water are present in the fissures and pores of the surrounding rocks and soil. When you pump out the water/oil, you create a low pressure point, and fluid seeps from the surrounding soil. It's only in the case of extreme ignorance that this effect seems remarkable.

Your post is an extremely good example of why relying on the "wisdom of the crowds" can instead be relying on the "stupid foibles and commonly mistunderstood ideas" of the crowds.

have they named it yet? (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283498)

if not, it should be Bacillus Balrogus

"The humans dug too greedily and deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of the Chilean copper mine... shadow and flame... and Bacillus Balrogus!"

Re:have they named it yet? (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283640)

Quick - someone leave out an Eldar sandwich so we can discover penicillum istari

Re:have they named it yet? (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283844)

Won't work. You wouldn't believe the preservatives lembas is laced with. It actually makes Twinkies look organic.

Re:have they named it yet? (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283932)

If it's really deep, they could name it after the nameless things: "Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things". Except they're nameless.

pervasive (1, Offtopic)

tibbar (30026) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283528)

on the plus side ...
it is likely humans can't make it extinct

Re:pervasive (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283604)

That sounds like a challange to me.

Re:pervasive (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283936)

Funny, I was thinking the same thing. If there's a species out there we can't wipe out of existence, we haven't found it and wiped it out of existence yet.

Re:pervasive (2, Funny)

Sinning (1433953) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283730)

Unless we're using it's hydrocarbon fuel supply to drive to Atlantic City every weekend to binge on hookers and blow.

Life elsewhere... (2, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283596)

It amazes me that people don't believe there's no life elsewhere in the universe when we're still discovering it in new forms here at home, with new ways of doing things, in new seemingly impossible places. I for one welcome our new microbial hydrocarbon munching leaders.

Re: people don't believe there's no life. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283764)

Yeah, amazing ; ).
But, perhaps more importantly, is there life elsewhere NOW?
Space is but one dimension in the space-time continuum.

Re: people don't believe there's no life. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283846)

Space is but one dimension in the space-time continuum.

Hmm. I could swear that space had 3 dimensions?

Re: people don't believe there's no life. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284008)

U R right of course,
"Space is but three of the dimensions et al".

My point was more along the lines of "We'll likely find ancient remains or organisms such as described in the article, not life as we know it".

Re:Life elsewhere... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283782)

The fact of the matter is that -ANY- part of Earth, even one we don't usually imagine having life - like the core of the Earth, is still actually more habitable than half the celestial bodies in our solar system.

We have had our suspicions about life on Mars though!

Re:Life elsewhere... (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283930)

By our known examples of life though! What makes me wonder is our definition of what living things are, and where they can possibly live, keeps changing. So how can we say what is and is not habitable if that line has to keep getting redrawn?

Re:Life elsewhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283866)

When we do discover alien bacteria, it will be on the news for 3 days, and the public's response will be something like, "Wake me up when you find real (that is, sentient) life."

And we here at /. will be outraged at how stupid our fellow inhabitants are.

Re:Life elsewhere... (2, Informative)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283934)

Yeah but a subtle point is the bacteria probably didn't *originate* under those conditions. The bacteria more than likely evolved from bacteria living in more life friendly conditions.

IODP Drilling sponsored by BP, Big Oil et. al (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283658)

How is it these guys can be drilling again?

"...Tom Wilson and the entire Shell organization bent over backward to release seismic, well, drilling, and geotechnical data. Shell employees generously shared their time to help design a safe and effective drilling program. The scientists, engineers, and lawyers of Shell, Amerada Hess, and British Petroleum worked together to achieve scientific drilling within industry lease blocks."

http://publications.iodp.org/proceedings/308/acknow.htm

Re:IODP Drilling sponsored by BP, Big Oil et. al (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34284042)

Well, DUH!!!

  1. They get to write off the expense as a donation
  2. They get the benefit of exploratory drilling

Either way, the holes would have to be drilled to check if there is oil nearby. This way, they write off the expense as a donation, not just operating expense. It's a no-brainer for them to do this.

Now if only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283694)

Now if only we could find intelligent life in Washington D.C.

I was expecting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283696)

Mole men. Thank you very much Mr. Assumer.

As for life in the mantle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283708)

Let's drill and see if anyone becomes a Primord :)

UNEXPECTED (1)

hallucinogen (1263152) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283728)

"The new biosphere is all bacteria, as you might expect"

Actually that is very unexpected! Archaea dominate in oceans and sediments, not bacteria. This find is very surprising!

Re:UNEXPECTED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283860)

It seems you are right in that finding bacteria and not Archaea is unexpected.
And here I figured the summary was just being impercise and classifying Archaea as bacteria but no.
From the article: "One key difference was that archaea were absent in the gabbroic layer" as compared to the next layer up.

Re:UNEXPECTED (1)

Brucelet (1857158) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283922)

This is mentioned in the article, but missed by the summary. But complaining about Slashdot editors has become a meme of its own so I'll not bother.

But did they find... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283766)

Menzoberranzan?

Of course not, because if they had, they'd never come back.

Is it needed? (1)

TelavianX (1888030) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283770)

What is the point of the bacteria there and what would happen if it was not there?

Re:Is it needed? (1)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283816)

What is the point of the bacteria there and what would happen if it was not there?

Don't get me started about the ape-like bipeds on the top of the crust. What is up with those things?

Re:Is it needed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283826)

Why does it need a point? It's just there like you are just here by a improbable chain of events. Only humans look for a point, even when there is none.

All bacteria?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283776)

...I'm guessing that archaea are pretty well represented down there as well...

Watch out for evolution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283808)

BEHOLD! The lowly bacteria that gave rise to life within our Hollow Earth and eventually spawned our future overlords, the Mole People.

The question remains... (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283832)

...can we grill it?

Re:The question remains... (1)

scaryjohn (120394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34283910)

Will it blend?

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34283970)

how this finding will affect the abiogenic hypothesis for petroleum.

One question (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34284048)

Did it have horns and a tail?

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