"It's really incredible to plunge into the passage, where anyone and had never had to experience the thrill of discovery" - said researcher Tom Illifaut, a marine biologist from the University of Texas in Galveston. "At the bottom of the cave, no one knows what you can expect around the corner».
Illifaut and his colleagues examined three "blue holes" in the Bahamas. They found that the layers of bacteria exist in all three caves, but each of these water-filled craters is significantly different microbes living in it from other "blue holes».
"We find new forms of life that are unknown in other regions of the earth," - said Illifaut.
"We examined two caves on the island of Abaco and one on the island of Andros" - continued the scientist. "In one on the abacus, a depth of about 30 meters, were discovered layer bacteria almost 2, 5 cm in thickness, which had been attached to the walls of the cavern. Another cave on the same island had bacteria living in clouds of poisonous hydrogen sulfide at the boundary between fresh and salt water ».
"In a cave on the island of Andros, we expected to see something like that, but there is a layer of hydrogen sulfide contained different types of bacteria," - added Illifaut. "It shows that the caves tend to have life forms that adapt to this environment, and we found that some types of bacteria can live in an environment where there are no other forms of life can survive. This study shows how bacteria have evolved over millions of years, and have found a way to live in these extreme conditions ».
According to scientists, these bacterial forms of life may be similar to microbes that existed on the young Earth, and their study may help researchers understand how life evolved on this planet. "These caves are natural laboratories where we can study life existing under conditions similar to those many millions of years ago," - says Illifaut.