"Parallel Universe' of Life Described Far Beneath the Bottom of the Sea

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opednews.com Headlined to None 3/14/13

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Living microbes have been found deep beneath the sea floor.
(image by NOAA/WHOI)
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Deep beneath the ocean floor off the Pacific Northwest coast, scientists have described the existence of a potentially vast realm of life, one almost completely disconnected from the world above. Such modes of life, technically known as chemosynthetic, are not unprecedented, having also been found deep in mine shafts and around seafloor hydrothermal vents. Never before, though, have they been found on so vast a scale. In pure geographical area, these oceanic crust systems may contain the largest ecosystem on Earth. If what the researchers found resembles what's found elsewhere below Earth's oceans, continued Lever, 'the largest ecosystem on Earth, by volume, is supported by chemosynthesis.' 'We now have the best available evidence that there is in fact microbial life in the cracks and fissures of deep ocean basalt. The question is, how far does it extend?'

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