Deepest Life on Earth May Be Lurking 6 Miles Beneath Ocean Floor

A host of hardy microbes may be living miles beneath the ocean floor, new research suggests. Complex chemical compounds found in the rocks spewed from oceanic mud volcanoes suggest microbial life-forms may be dwelling some 32,800 feet (10,000 meters) beneath the seafloor. “Although we cannot pinpoint the exact origin of the organic matter, chemical analysis of the constituents resembles molecular signatures that could be produced by microbial life deep within or below the mud volcano,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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