Microbe life 1 mile below seabed rock – how did it get there?

deep biosphere life microbes rockMicrobe life has been found deep beneath the seabed, in over 1 mile of rock (over 2400 meters or 8000 feet).

Deep biosphere life and any deep boreholes we drill (Russian and German) are surprising scientists again and again.

"We keep looking for life, and we keep finding it, and it keeps surprising us as to what it appears to be capable of."
Microbes discovered by deepest marine drill analysed

Thy Chikyu ship did its super deep borehole off Japan and drilled into an a coal bed, as the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) guessed that carbon would be good for simple microbe life.

How did microbe life get 1 mile deep in rock?

microbes life seabed deep biosphere japan

The researchers are now trying to work out if there are lots of different kinds of microbes living in the coal beds or whether there is one type that dominates. They also want to find out how the microbes got there in the first place.

"Were these microbes just in a swamp, and loving life in a swamp, because there is all sorts of carbon available, oxygen, organic matter... and then that gets buried?" pondered Dr Trembath-Reichert.

"It could be that they didn’t get a chance to escape – they couldn’t exactly walk out. So is it that they were there to begin with and then they could maintain life?

"Or were they like microbes that were able to travel down to those depths from the surface?"
Microbes discovered by deepest marine drill analysed