A team of scientists has discovered bacteria in a hole drilled more than 4,000 feet deep in volcanic rock on the island of Hawaii near Hilo, in an environment they say could be analogous to conditions on Mars and other planets. Bacteria are being discovered in some of Earth’s most inhospitable places, from miles below the ocean’s surface to deep within Arctic glaciers. The latest discovery is one of the deepest drill holes in which scientists have discovered living organisms encased within volcanic rock, said Martin R. Fisk, a professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. Results of the study were published in the December issue of Geochemistry, Geophysics and Geosystems, a journal published by the American Geophysical Union and the Geochemical Society.
December 29th, 2003