Life May Have Originated Miles Underground
New research questions 'primordial soup' theory
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 14, 2013 7:06 AM CST
Life on Earth may have started underground.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The idea of a "primordial soup," in which life theoretically began in lakes and oceans, may be way off. New studies suggest the beginnings of life on this planet could have occurred deep underground, the Independent reports. Researchers have found microbes up to 3.1 miles below the Earth's surface—tiny organisms that are almost exactly the same on opposite sides of the planet. That points to a possible common ancestor about 3.5 billion years ago, which is when earthly life began, the paper explains.

Scientists pulled such microbes from fissures in rocks as widespread as North America, Japan, Europe, South Africa, and even, according to Red Orbit, deep hydrothermal vents in the Caribbean. The samples were more than 97% identical, or practically the same species, according to researcher Matt Schrenk, who notes that some may "live as deep as (6 miles) into the Earth." He adds: "It is easy to understand how birds or fish might be similar oceans apart, but it challenges the imagination to think of nearly identical microbes (10,000 miles) apart from each other in the cracks of hard rock at extreme depths, pressures, and temperatures." (Click for more of the craziest discoveries of the week, including the idea that the universe may actually be ... a hologram.)

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Showing 3 of 68 comments
Haiquan Ma
Dec 18, 2013 12:08 PM CST
"..to think of nearly identical microbes (10,000 miles) apart from each other in the cracks of hard rock at extreme depths..." Where do you think you came out, to this world...of course from a deep "crack".
Giordano Klar
Dec 16, 2013 4:01 AM CST
Researcher Matt Schrenk says that, "...it challenges the imagination to think of nearly identical microbes (10,000 miles) apart from each other in the cracks of hard rock at extreme depths, pressures, and temperatures." But it DOESN'T challenge the imagination to think that raw elements somehow assembled themselves into a mindblowingly complex molecule we call DNA, and the equally mindblowingly complex cell that contains it????? The religious faith that neo-Darwinists have in their fairy tales is breathtaking.
Truth-or-Dare
Dec 14, 2013 11:16 PM CST
You earthlings are so inferior it is sad. I've been here 2 months, and there is nothing of any use on this planet. I am leaving in about 1 week to go back home, this planet will be red flagged, so no other species will waste their time.