October 1, 2011

Life Everywhere

One thing that constantly amazes me about the world is that there is life EVERYWHERE.
Here are some places that I bet you didn't know life exsisted:
An Antarctic Valley. {source}
This valley is actually one of the driest deserts on Earth!!
Yet somehow microbes manage to live and thrive inside the rock underneath all that ice in the airspaces between tiny mineral grains...
During most of the year, these organisms are frozen, but for 500 hours each year when sunlight manages to warm the rock above the freezing point and the organisms are able to grow.

This is an endolith.{source}
The coloured bits of the rock are the organisms described above...
A black smoker. {source}
This is a volcanic vent on the ocean floor. Extremely hot, mineral rich water spews out of this opening in the Earth's crust.
The water that comes out of here is actually above normal boiling temperature, that is able to remain in liquid form because of the extreme amount of pressure from all the water above it (these things are on the bottom of the ocean floor!)

This is "Strain 121". {source}
This is the kind of organism that survives inside black smokers under extreme pressure and heat.
Actually, this organism can grow in temperatures as hot as 121 degrees Celsius (thats 250 degrees Fahrenheit!!!)

A radioactive waste dump. {source}
Some organisms thrive in extreme levels of radioactivity.
One one-thousandth of the radioactivity that they thrive in would be lethal to us humans..
These tiny critters are called Deinococcus radiodurans:

Hopefully that didn't sound too nerdy... I just can't help but be amazed at the situations that life not only survives, but thrives in! And it astonishes me that there is a multitude of life out there that we can't even see!
This post is dedicated to my Nanny who passed away two years ago today. She survived about a year post diagnosis of cancer. She was a brave, resilient woman who I wish I could have known better. 


  1. And some of that life we can't see is on us! I love the photos and thanks for sharing! I learn a lot reading other's blogs. I stopped by from EBT to follow you.

  2. Awesome thank you Sandy!
    And yeah, you're right, some of it is on us!! and even IN us!!


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