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Iron-Eating Bug Is Gobbling Up the Titanic

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the give-'em-a-little-arsenic-and-look-what-happens dept.

Bug 221

gambit3 writes "A newly discovered microbe dubbed Halomonas titanicae is chewing its way through the wreck of the Titanic and leaving little behind except a fine dust, researchers report in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 'In 1995, I was predicting that Titanic had another 30 years,' said Henrietta Mann, a civil engineering adjunct professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 'It's deteriorating much faster than that now.'"

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It's the Only Way to Be Sure (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513484)

I say we surface and nuke the entire site from sea level. It's the only way to be sure those bugs don't attack our buildings and transportation. If they make it out of there, it'll be 9/11 times a hundred.

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513522)

I wouldn't be overly worried. The conditions there (dark cold high-pressure underwater with low oxygen and a limited set of competition) are fairly different from up here - and the measures we use to protect structural iron would probably be decent at keeping them at bay ... so to speak.

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513534)

the measures we use to protect structural iron would probably be decent at keeping them at bay ... so to speak.

But what happens when the paint peels off? :0

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513660)

But what happens when the paint peels off? :0

We shouldn't worry about that; that will be our great great great grandchildren's problem.

It'll be an excuse to replace all structural iron with other more expensive building components in new construction, and rebuild all existing buildings.

Great economic stimulus and all that

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514104)

Besides the fact that you're referring to the broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org] , the only way to replace structural iron in an existing building is to demolish the building.

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

kg8484 (1755554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514500)

Reread the original comment. Besides the fact that GP was joking, it already addresses your second point.

It'll be an excuse to replace all structural iron with other more expensive building components in new construction, and rebuild all existing buildings.

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513760)

I wouldn't be overly worried. The conditions there (dark cold high-pressure underwater with low oxygen and a limited set of competition) are fairly different from up here - and the measures we use to protect structural iron would probably be decent at keeping them at bay ... so to speak.

OK, great. Now, how do we keep Bay away from the movie about it?

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513562)

I say we surface and nuke the entire site from sea level. It's the only way to be sure those bugs don't attack our buildings and transportation. If they make it out of there, it'll be 9/11 times a hundred.

If you do that, these bugs could mutate and become gigantic and develop legs, They will then walk up onto land and start eating every iron based thing they see. Bridges, buildings, cars, trucks, ....it'll be 9/11 times a million!

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513644)

Maggie Thatcher look out!

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (3, Funny)

o'reor (581921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513576)

You're right, especially after 2012 when all your buildings and transportation will be below sea level.

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (2)

jewens (993139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513618)

Why that's nearly 892!

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513830)

You mean nearly 82?

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

jewens (993139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513922)

Doh!

Math-geek FAIL!

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513872)

No,no,no, silly all we need to do is bring in the "sharks with frickin laser beams attached to their heads" and they will take care of those dirty pests once and for all!

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513880)

So there will be 81.81 of them?

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514196)

I say we surface and nuke the entire site from sea level. It's the only way to be sure those bugs don't attack our buildings and transportation. If they make it out of there, it'll be 9/11 times a hundred.

Game over, man! Game over!

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514512)

it'll be 9/11 times a hundred.

What? 900/11 ? That is 81.81818181818181818181818...

Re:It's the Only Way to Be Sure (0)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514542)

I for one welcome our iron-eating microbial overlords.

Wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513488)

Wasn't there a start trek episode about this?

Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514222)

...it was called "Captain Picard and the Titanic munching super bugs".

X-Files (1)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514334)

Was X-Files "D0d Kalm", the ship is slowly dissolving. Tho in that ep people are rapidly aging too

Nom. (1)

bchickens (255621) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513502)

nom nom nom. Sounds like they could be a new weapon of mass destruction!

Re:Nom. (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514142)

Yeah. Screw Stuxnet, we need to get some of these into Iran, pronto.

Re:Nom. (1)

Gravitron 5000 (1621683) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514174)

Silly politicians and their rhetoric. Are they not familiar with the law of conservation of mass? [wikipedia.org]

I, for one, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513504)

I, for one, welcome our new metal-devouring overlords.

Re:I, for one, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514164)

I'm willing to use whatever it takes, to stop Magneto.

No more sailing... (5, Insightful)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513536)

Well, it's not like it was going to sail again... So, it's the natural order of things, no great loss...

Re:No more sailing... (5, Funny)

Stele (9443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513616)

Especially since it didn't have any sails to begin with.

Re:No more sailing... (1)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513960)

it will never sail, no one buyer wants a boat with rustbugs

Re:No more sailing... (1)

sshirley (518356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513688)

Plus the last of the survivors are almost gone. So it won't be in living memory anymore. Sad event, but just another shipwreck.

Re:No more sailing... (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513774)

Last one [wikipedia.org] died last year. I suspect the bug got to her.

Re:No more sailing... (2)

entotre (1929174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513734)

David Cameron will soon re-release the movie Titanic in 3D. Thus making the physical version of the ship redundant.

Re:No more sailing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513758)

Why would the Prime Minister of Britain be (re)releasing a movie?

Re:No more sailing... (1)

entotre (1929174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513804)

James Cameron [wikipedia.org] , then

Re:No more sailing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513826)

Obviously entotre meant Kirk Cameron.

Re:No more sailing... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513914)

I have this growing... pain in my head right now.

Re:No more sailing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514536)

Is it a tumah?

Re:No more sailing... (1)

ocdscouter (1922930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514210)

Yes, Prime Minister.

Re:No more sailing... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513958)

That's what the Conservative party does.

Re:No more sailing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513778)

Yeah, besides, nowadays when anyone says Titanic, everyone thinks about the movie, not the ship.

Afterlife refuge (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513540)

Ever since I saw the movie as a teenager, I have looked forward to the day that I die and become a ghost, so that I may travel down to the wreckage and meditate amid the sadness of loss and the elegance of a finer age. Reading this I am completely lost. I have always believed that no ability to move through time comes with the afterlife, as otherwise ghosts from the future would have already influenced the present (however rare ghost-to-man interactions may be).

Tell me why can this microbe exist to destroy?

Re:Afterlife refuge (2)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513788)

I have mod points and I'm not sure whether to go +1 Insightful, -1 Troll, +1 Effort, -1 Psychobabble, or -1 Emo.

Instead I just won't post anonymously and ponder why Slashdots "no posting and modding the same thread" rule exists only to destroy the contributions I could have made to this discussion.

Re:Afterlife refuge (0)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514270)

Mod points aren't worth much. Someone will come along and mod most threads. So the idea is that you shouldn't get to influence the display of threads that you choose to participate in.

I guess you must think that scoring a few comments is an extremely valuable contribution or it wouldn't bother you to post a comment. Really, I think scoring a few comments is merely useful.

Re:Afterlife refuge (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514338)

>

Instead I just won't post anonymously and ponder why Slashdots "no posting and modding the same thread" rule exists only to destroy the contributions I could have made to this discussion.

That's the primary reason I gave up moderating. I only read the stories that are of interest to me, modding along the way. Invariably I'd run across a post that I'd want to comment upon, and voila, a dilemma: Hold back my comment and leave the mod points in play, or comment on a posting and wipe out all of the mod points.

Re:Afterlife refuge (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514482)

Use your mod points in a different discussion.

Re:Afterlife refuge (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513794)

easy solution, kill yourself and become a ghost while its still there

Re:Afterlife refuge (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514190)

i haven't looked forward to that day

mainly because i don't want to listen to celine dion in the afterlife

Other sunken ships (4, Interesting)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513542)

What about surveying sites like the battle of Midway for bugs like this? It could probably yield some very interesting information.

Re:Other sunken ships (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513570)

what, that bugs eat japanese ships too?

Re:Other sunken ships (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513686)

I doubt that this iron eating bug will find much food in a WWII graveyard of Japanese ships, although termites might have a field day if the sea level ever dropped low enough...

Huh? (2)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513946)

Ah.

The wooden ships must go along with all those wooden swords the Japanese military have carried since heaven knows when, and the wooden type 3 heavy machine guns their infantry was using in WW-2.

Re:Huh? (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514130)

Now you're trolling... We all know the Japanese used mostly paper for their houses and heavy industrial machinery.

The question does however remain... Are there any bookworms living at those depths?

High Salinity Levels for Halomonas (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513764)

From Microbewiki on Halomonas [kenyon.edu] :

Because Halomonas species are typically halophiles, they are usually found in water sources with high salinity levels, such as the Dead Sea and even within the frigid waters of Antarctica.

In the paper [sgmjournals.org] you can see where this bug sits in the phylogenetic tree.

I'm guessing the Midway Atoll has warmer water but you might find different microbes. I guess I'm more curious if the researchers think this bug already existed or if it was a neighboring microbe in the phylogenetic tree that colonized titanic and prospered, mutating slowly to what it is today -- accustomed to the iron of the wreck? If you drop anything with high surface area into the ocean and check it out fifty years later, it might be the norm to find some microbe busily breaking it down with a slight twist ...

Re:High Salinity Levels for Halomonas (4, Interesting)

raddan (519638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514040)

Your "high salinity" in Antarctica quote made me wonder why Antarctic waters would have higher salinity than, say, tropical waters near large landmasses, where there would presumably be lots of runoff. I found this salinity map [records.viu.ca] of the oceans, which is quite surprising to me. The Atlantic is quite saline. Any oceanographers out there who can explain why salinity is distributed this way? I would expect the most saline areas to be near the tropics, and the least saline to be near the poles where you find melting ice and lower dissolving capacity of water (can you tell I'm not a chemist?). Also, not surprisingly, it seems that salinity is not evenly distributed from the top of the ocean to the bottom. Given that the Titanic in on the bottom of arctic waters, one would think that you wouldn't find Halomonas there.

Re:High Salinity Levels for Halomonas (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514226)

I don't know what I'm talking about, BUT I believe this is less about mineral sources and more about the convection of ocean currents and the weight of salinated water.

Re:High Salinity Levels for Halomonas (2)

Sum0 (1245284) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514326)

Higher temperature near equator = more evaporation = higher salinity. Melting water during summers near poles = freshwater input = lower salinity. Atlantic is more saline for various reasons, but input from the Mediterranean (small warm salty basin) is a big one. Depth distributions are related to global-scale thermohaline circulation as well as temperature related density stratifications

Life will find a way (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514176)

If you drop anything with high surface area into the ocean and check it out fifty years later, it might be the norm to find some microbe busily breaking it down with a slight twist ...

That's why I don't worry about the acres of plastic floating in the Pacific [wikipedia.org] .

The water themperature at the bottom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514366)

There is a possible problem with your observations. While the surface temperature of the waters around Midway are warm, at the depth that the sunken warships are the water temperature is quite cool. Also there is deep ocean current (I don't know its name) going from Antarctica and welling up around Japan. The cold water from Antarctica cause the bottom waters of the Pacific to be colder than expected.

What will they eat... (3, Interesting)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513554)

when they run out of titanic? These things did not evolve to just eat the titanic. What is their usual diet other than shipwrecks?

Re:What will they eat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513664)

Actually it may be ship wrecks and other lost under sea iron that they have evolved to eat. Bacteria can hibernate or form spores that last long ass periods, centuries isn't unheard of. This bacteria could float around the ocean waiting to land on some iron for years. Considering that quadrillions of bacteria will probably come from the titanic; only one would have to a found new home to start the process all over again. I don't think the bacteria will have any trouble with a their high iron diet. (obviously they still need carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, etc)

Re:What will they eat... (4, Interesting)

kae_verens (523642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513790)

it's possible that they /did/ evolve just to eat the titanic. Maybe there were some microbes that ate some other iron-filled delicacy, and happened across this gluttonous feast. over the next thousands/millions of generations, the microbes then evolved to specifically eat the titanic - I mean, why bother struggling to find food elsewhere when you're right at the feast table?

and what happens when the titanic is gone? they die. maybe a few will survive, but any that have specialised to eat the hull will most likely not be able to eat anything else.

Re:What will they eat... (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514350)

And that is one truly titanic feast table for a microbe...

Re:What will they eat... (1)

bigtone78 (943249) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513974)

pirate treasure chests?!?!?!?

Re:What will they eat... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514084)

Iron?

Re:What will they eat... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514198)

when they run out of titanic? These things did not evolve to just eat the titanic. What is their usual diet other than shipwrecks?

We humans are odd creatures. We assume that once we've taken a thing and crafted it into another shape of thing that it no longer existed in nature. While this is rarely true with completely synthetic things, big metal ships do not fall into this category. Yes, the Titanic was in a shape that was more useful to us, however it was made entirely of material from this planet. And I'd think if the material exists on this planet, a creature that eats same is quite likely to exist as well.

So, to answer the question: They likely eat exposed metal deposits on the ocean floor.

Also we should reflect on the BP situation in the gulf. There was a lot of a naturally occurring substance released into the water there, too. And what happened? A microbe appeared to eat it. It may well have been a better idea to avoid spraying it with chemicals so those microbes would have an easier time eating it.

And yesterday we had a story via NASA on CO2 causing plants to thrive. Again, CO2 is a naturally-occurring substance, so it seems entirely natural to me that something in nature would eat it, too.

I'm not saying that the same is true of every substance, e.g. styrofoam, nuclear waste, etc. But it certainly seems to be true a LOT more often than we humans seem to be able to grasp.

Re:What will they eat... (2)

proslack (797189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514378)

Iron is a limiting nutrient. If you add iron to seawater, all other things being equal (e.g. phosphate), you will probably enable more "stuff" to live in that region, cf. "Importance of iron for plankton blooms and carbon dioxide drawdown in the Southern Ocean HJW De Baar, JTM de Jong, DCE Bakker - 1995 - nature.com"

Replicators!!!!! (2)

ZoolTheNinja (780596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513590)

Where's Richard Dean Anderson when we need him?

Re:Replicators!!!!! (2)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513954)

He's busy trying to make a paperclip out of a gun.

OMG3D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34513608)

But what did the 3D analysis reveal?
And more importantly, what is James Cameron doing to help?

They eat rust (2)

Taylor123456789 (1354177) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513654)

Another article said they eat iron-oxide, ie rust (http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/301139). There are probably some pretty good practical applications for this.

Propellers (4, Informative)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513672)

When it all turns to iron dust the propellers will still be there as their 100% manganese bronze and will must likely be buried before they fall.

Re:Propellers (3, Funny)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513918)

Some call it dust, but others, like myself, call it poo.

Rust Monsters? O noes! (3, Funny)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513700)

All you fighters better turn in your plate mail, shields, and swords, and switch classes.

Might I suggest thief or magic-user?

Re:Rust Monsters? O noes! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513866)

You can protect your equipment from rust monsters by becoming confused (e.g. with a potion of booze) and then reading a non-cursed scroll of enchant weapon / enchant armor. No problemo. Or alternately, you can simply remove the metal items and club or punch them to death.

Leather ... I'm into leather (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513952)

Worked great 20+ years ago playing Rogue.

Re:Rust Monsters? O noes! (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514202)

And what's the thief supposed to use, mythril lock picks? Hmm?

Re:Rust Monsters? O noes! (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514216)

You know what doesn't rust? Gold. It was always a good idea to have a gold dagger on hand when playing with a certain DM.

Re:Rust Monsters? O noes! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514508)

You know what makes a really bad sharp edge? Here is a hint, it is one of the softest metals, and it is yellowish. You would do better to put a gold brick in a sack and give the rust monster a blanket party.

Re:Rust Monsters? O noes! (1)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514544)

I always have preferred bone or stone myself

Then we do need to raise the Titanic. (5, Interesting)

Apuleius (6901) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513792)

The hull of the Titanic is made of pre-1945 steel. The bessemer process for making steel makes it absorb radioactive isotopes from the air, and so steel that was put throught the process before the first open air atom bomb tests is valuable for uses such as Geiger counters.

Maybe not: (3, Interesting)

Hartree (191324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513876)

There's still a good bit of such iron around from the German fleet that was scuttled at Scapa Flow after WW1.

Ssh! Don't tell the microbes, or they'll hitch a ride on a passing container ship and gobble that up too.

Re:Maybe not: (1)

Motard (1553251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514140)

And at Iron Bottom Sound [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Maybe not: (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514312)

Ironbottom Sound would be problematic because those ships were sunk in battle, hence may be considered war graves and thus untouchable.

The German fleet at Scapa Flow were scuttled by their crews after the First World War ended, and Scapa is shallower besides.

Re:Then we do need to raise the Titanic. (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514352)

I for one welcome our iron-eating-radiation-absorbing overlords!

Tourists prolly brought 'em (1)

aGuyNamedJoe (317081) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513824)

How many such microbes normally roam the north atlantic, searching for ships to eat, I wonder.

My guess is some of the visitors to the wreck brought them from warmer climes. Some of those submersibles have probably visited other wrecks and/or sites where such iron-eating microbes are hard at work, and had a little colony of their own.

I've got relatives down there (4, Insightful)

Qubit (100461) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513864)

While I'm totally supportive of reasonable scientific expeditions down to see the wreckage, I am rather amused that the ship will eventually just dissolve away. At some point it all just turns to dust and gets recycled by the planet into new things. Even the physical object that we want to be most immutable -- the 1kg reference mass in France -- is beyond our ability to keep pristine. But there's no shame in that, for we are but mere mortals, muddling our way through the mysteries of the universe on our little, watery planet.

In the end, it seems like a fitting and dignified end to the ship and to all of the souls who went down on her.

Re:I've got relatives down there (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513988)

I agree, but you are telling this to people who bury their dead in sealed boxes within concrete containers with most of the rotting stuff taken out to try to preserve the body as much as possible. For some reason, humanity is obsessed with making worthless stuff last forever.

Re:I've got relatives down there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514532)

While I'm totally supportive of reasonable scientific expeditions down to see the wreckage, I am rather amused that the ship will eventually just dissolve away. At some point it all just turns to dust and gets recycled by the planet into new things. Even the physical object that we want to be most immutable -- the 1kg reference mass in France -- is beyond our ability to keep pristine. But there's no shame in that, for we are but mere mortals, muddling our way through the mysteries of the universe on our little, watery planet.

Exactly! "Diamonds are forever"...Except they aren't...

they look like this, only smaller (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#34513944)

Langoliers Eat The Past [blogspot.com]

My research (1)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514090)

I've written many articles and essays on the Titanic (and one book) - have a look here [paullee.com] if you're interested. Even if you're not, take a look. As for the 2010 expedition (more of a media circus than a proper scientific expedition IMHO), click on my bouquets and brickbats for my thoughts on the matter. The links in my sig, and the musings are near the top of the page.

Fracking Dick Cheney! (0)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514092)

Tellin ya, he's in everything man... He's not letting up just because he's out of office.

I don't think its startrek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514122)

I believe its a Stargate episode. The replicators being the bugs.. Although that dealt with a russian sub I believe

what? again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34514218)

I thought they knew about these iron eating bacteria some time ago or is this just an update to say they're working faster then previously estimated.

ObI41 (1)

cstacy (534252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514380)

Ladies and gentlemen, uh, we've just lost the picture from our underwater robotic camera, but what we've seen speaks for itself. The Titanic has apparently been taken over- 'conquered' if you will- by a master race of iron eating bacteria. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will merely digest the sunken ship or enslave us all. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; Halomonas titanicae will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new rusty bacterial overlords. I'd like to remind them as a trusted Slashdot moderator, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underwater metal caves.

More bugs needed (1)

dragin33 (529413) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514382)

Now we just need to find some bugs to eat that horrible garbage island in the middle of the pacific. (which contains mainly plastics)

Wikipedia on Microbial Corrosion shows Titanic pic (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514416)

The Wikipedia page on Microbial Corrosion shows the Titanic... so either this is nothing new at all (just sensation), or wikipedia was updated really fast.

Anyway, microbial corrosion is nothing new, and certainly already present everywhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbial_corrosion [wikipedia.org]

arsenic,iron,sulfur - microbes eat anything (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34514472)

Theres a fringe branch of biology that studies extremophiles - microbes that can live nearly anywhere and metabolize nearly anything. Biochemical fossils suggests these may be the earliest form of life, before oxygen and carbon dioxide metabolism had evolved.
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