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Could life thrive on other planets in undersea caves?

From “Life Beyond Earth? Underwater Caves in Bahamas Could Give Clues” (ScienceDaily, Jan. 26, 2012), we learn

Tom Iliffe, professor of marine biology at the Texas A&M-Galveston campus, and graduate student Brett Gonzalez of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., examined three “blue holes” in the Bahamas and found that layers of bacterial microbes exists in all three, but each cave had specialized forms of such life and at different depths, suggesting that microbial life in such caves is continually adapting to changes in available light, water chemistry and food sources. Their work, also done in conjunction with researchers from Penn State University, has been published in Hydrobiologia.

“It shows that the caves tend to have life forms that adapt to that particular habitat, and we found that some types of the bacteria could live in environments where no other forms of life could survive. This research shows how these bacteria have evolved over millions of years and have found a way to live under these extreme conditions.”

Or did they migrate there, attracted to the conditions in which they have thrived elsewhere?

Researcher Iliffe adds, adds.

“There is no telling what remains to be discovered in the many thousands of caves that no one has ever entered. If life exists elsewhere in our solar system, it most likely would be found in water-filled subterranean environments, perhaps equivalent to those we are studying in the Bahamas.”

If life is discovered on another planet, it will be interesting to see how many of the guesses we have made are right.

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3 Responses to Could life thrive on other planets in undersea caves?

  1. Some topics I find viscerally repulsive – which, admittedly, is hardly a commendation of my intelligence. But it happens.

  2. Belief in the existence of alien life is no different than belief in a Creator in the sense that there is “proof” for neither. I think there is more evidence for the latter actually.

  3. Yes, life does thrive on other planets. And if you want to know where those planets are just follow the directions provided in “The Privileged Planet”.

    Or keep searching for your keys under the street-light because at least there is light so you can see…

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