Aliens Could Live in Oily Goo, Expanding the Search

Posted by K R on

Extremely tiny newfound habitats hidden within oil could expand the potential for life in the universe, researchers say. Scientists have discovered microbes living in microscopic droplets of water inside a giant asphalt lake on Earth, suggesting that alien life could perhaps exist within ponds of sludge on distant landscapes such as Saturn's largest moon Titan. Researchers investigated the largest naturally occurring asphalt lake on Earth, Pitch Lake on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. Black goo there oozes across roughly 114 acres (0.46 square kilometers), an area equivalent to nearly 90 football fields. Prior studies had found that microbes could thrive at the boundary where oil and water meet in nature, helping to break down the oil. However, investigators had thought oil was too toxic for life, and that the levels of any water inside the oil were below the threshold for life on Earth. More via Live Science.

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