It is considered that the necessary conditions for the emergence of life is the presence of light, oxygen and water - at least, most species of living beings on our planet is the case. But the Earth - an amazing place, and life here sometimes there is a completely unimaginable conditions that reassuring: it is possible, someday we'll find life on other planets, where conditions are not favorable. We hope that on this we will be able to tell you in a few years, and now we offer you a selection of the most unusual places on the planet, where he managed to survive and be alive organisms.
1. The asphalt lake
In the Atlantic, there are the island of Trinidad, it is unusual especially the fact that it is the only lake in the world, where instead of water - liquid asphalt. Locals use the lake for their needs: every year there is produced about 100 tons of asphalt, and the lake becomes smaller - the depth of the basin is also unknown. The reasons for the origin of the mysterious natural phenomenon can only guess.
However, the most surprising - not even that. In a completely uninhabitable conditions inhabit tiny bacteria extremophiles: each gram of substance lake lives about 10 million individuals. Note that the temperature of the asphalt - about 50 ° C, water is considered a prerequisite for the emergence of life, there is almost no a meager amount which is still to be found, is produced directly lacustrine inhabitants. Furthermore, the bacteria have to live in an oxygen free atmosphere - instead, they are used for breathing metals and hydrocarbons.
2. Radioactive water
Bacteria species Deinococcus radiodurans can withstand ionizing radiation is about 10,000 Gray (man when receiving five Gray dies). Moreover, these bacteria prefer to live in those places where, in one way or another, the presence of radiation - in natural waters, containing huge amounts of radioactive materials such as radium, radon or uranium. Deinococcus radiodurans survives thanks to the constant copying their DNA to the point, the radiation kills one gene, another similar molecule is already beginning to work, and the creature lives. In fact, one individual can exist almost forever, constantly renewing itself.
Now the researchers are looking for a way to use bacteria useful for human needs: for bacteria, in fact, feed on radioactive waste management, they can be used for bioremediation of radioactive contamination. Moreover, after the nuclear disaster bacteria survive for obvious reasons, so that it could serve as a carrier of information for the remnants of humanity. Incidentally, such an experiment has been performed and was successful: in 2003, scientists have encoded the song in a number of segments of DNA and introduced them to the bacteria - the information was passed exactly a hundred generations of bacteria, and scientists were able to read it.
3. The bottom of the ocean
Deep under water, which can not get no ray of light, too, there is life, with this life is represented not only by bacteria, as in the two previous cases. At the bottom of the ocean inhabited by amoebas and strange deep sea fish - they somehow manage to survive in the incredible pressure and the almost complete absence of oxygen. However, there is a theory that life at great depths are not born, but rather migrated here - some species could not compete and were forced to sink to the bottom in search of a new habitat. However, this does not explain the existence of living organisms, for example, in the Mariana Trench: quite difficult to assume that some kind of looking for a place to live would have gone down "on their own" to such a depth. Back in 1960, two researchers, Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh, were able to see at a depth of more than 10 000 m in the flat, similar to flounder fish, and James Cameron in 2012, the year even managed to bring to the surface of microorganisms from "the abyss Challenger." Note that at great depths was not found a single species, whose age would be less than 200 million years, and scientists believe that since then they have not changed.
Mostly deep-residents - scavengers that feed on organic whole, which falls on the depth of the "top".
4. Dead Sea
Dead Sea - one of the most saline water bodies on the planet, according to research, the salinity of the water in it is 35%, the composition is preferably magnesium chloride, calcium, sodium and potassium. Unfortunately, as a result of environmental degradation, groundwater abstraction and climate change on the planet Dead Sea is gradually drying, and may disappear entirely in the present century. And with it will disappear, and the living organisms inhabiting it, unique in nature.
The Dead Sea halophilic microbes inhabit - the salinity of the water in no way does not prevent them to live and breed in a seemingly quite suitable for the conditions, on the contrary, the higher the salinity, the better they grow. These microbes - very resistant organisms: in fact, they could withstand the extremely low temperatures, or even to stay alive in the vacuum of space due to its ability to osmoregulation.
5. Boiling water
Water reservoir, where the water temperature is close to 100 ° C, is not so rare on our planet: in particular, geothermal sources exist in the Caribbean Sea at a depth of 5000 m, and the water temperature is close to 400 ° C - is the deepest boiling springs on the ground. None of terrestrial organisms survive in such conditions can not, however bacteria, some species of mollusks and polychaetes perfectly adapted to life in boiling water.
Worms, for example, do not have a mouth or intestine, and life energy they receive is not a result of food intake, and due to the processing of hydrogen sulfide. Their bodies are protected from possible adverse effects of ultra-high temperatures chitin shells. Surprisingly, if the water for some reason or cools colony polychaetes leaves habitual zone habitat, they cease to proliferate and die after a while. The "ideal" conditions as they live a long time - the researchers could find individuals older than 250 years.
Strictly speaking, the results in the thickness of the ice is not quite living organisms - the necessary for their life processes "frozen" in the literal and figurative sense. In particular, in the ice of Antarctica discovered ancient bacteria that inhabit them directly into the ice - glaciers and icebergs: if an iceberg drifting in the ocean, then it drift and bacteria inhabit it.
Once a piece of ice with such bacteria unable to deliver to the lab. After defrosting bacteria almost immediately began to move, began to breed and find food: that they were in a state of suspended animation, perhaps a million years did not cause them any harm. The researchers concluded that this is possible thanks to the genome of ancient organisms: it was shorter and more primitive than modern genome of bacteria - they have only 210 base pairs, while other bacteria usually has three million pairs.
7. Dry Valleys of Antarctica
Living organisms, dormant in the ice - Antarctica is not the only mystery: on the southern continent, there are dry fields, also known as "Martian valleys." Dry field can rightly be called the driest place on Earth, because the rain was not there already two million years, the temperature does not rise above -20 ° C, and the normal wind speed - 300 km / h. Consequently, the soil is not covered valleys or the ice or snow.
Until recently it was believed that to survive in such conditions is impossible: there is at least some water - no life. However, in 2009, the year in the dry valleys of the soil samples were taken, which were found living organisms - bacteria. There is a hypothesis that they were there with the last drop out of the ground and the rain have adapted to live in the soil, without the need for oxygen or light and ignoring the cold, but it is not known what they eat and how the mind was able to survive for such a long time.
8. Groundwater depth
Mankind, driven by economic and research interests have long been seeks to conquer the bowels of the earth. Most people are trying to penetrate the almost unattainable depth of mining, for example, in the vicinity of Johannesburg is the deepest gold mine in the world Mponeng, its depth - more than 3 500 meters. The temperature in the interior of the Earth, of course, is much higher than in the hospitable surface - about 60 ° C. There is almost no light and air, but is it the eighth paragraph to surprise someone? Of course, life is here.
Bacteria living underground as a source of livelihood using nuclear reaction due to radioactive rays, water molecules are split into hydrogen and oxygen, then atomic hydrogen is recovered, and stand out in this process bacteria use the energy of life. They live mostly in a tiny amount of moisture in the cracks of rocks.
9. Toxic sludge
In the Mediterranean, a large part of the floor is covered with yellow and blue calcareous silt, which is saturated with hydrogen sulfide and toxic to all living things. Oxygen in such an environment is not and can not be, there will not light penetrates. People without special equipment and protective suits are not able to dive here - even if we were able to breathe underwater, short exposure to hydrogen sulfide would have toxic effects on the body.
But deep in the sludge anaerobic bacteria live births Desulfobacter, Desulfobacterium and Desulfococcus. These bacteria - one of the tiny organisms in the world, the length of their bodies is on average about 150 microns. By its composition, bacterial cells are like fungal cells, and oxygen for breathing they do not need, and energy for life, they receive due to their ability to oxidize hydrogen sulfide and lay the body of sulfur grains.
Author: Pauline Kormschikova