Researchers find microbial life at the bottom of the Mariana Trench

Mar 18, 2013
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If you've ever dove to the bottom of a swimming pool, you know firsthand how much pressure just a few feet of water can apply to your body. Imagine the incredible pressures exerted on anything living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. This particular trench is the deepest point in the ocean, nearly 7 miles below the ocean surface.

As the photo above shows, the trench is located in the Western Pacific ocean. The trench is so deep that the incredible pressure exerted by all about water makes for an incredibly hazardous environment that is very difficult for anything to live in. However, that doesn't mean is no life 7 miles below the surface of the ocean.

Researchers have discovered microbes living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench where water pressure is about 1000 times higher than the pressure at the surface of the ocean. The expedition occurred in 2010 and researchers say that they sent a robot to the bottom of the trench to evaluate microbial life on site. The reason the scientific tests were performed at the bottom of the trench was because microbial life suited to living at these incredible pressures would've died before reaching the surface of the ocean.

According to the researchers, the bottom of the trench had about 10 times more bacteria than the waters around the trench. Researchers discovered that the bottom of these incredibly deep trenches are hotspots for microbial life because the depths have large amounts of dead and decaying matter. The researchers also point out that there are very few large animals that live at these ocean depths.

[via Nature World News]


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