ICYMI: Science press releases about the "deep biosphere," fascinating stuff


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #1

Just thought I’d share this here for everyone’s wonderment and worship, in case it escaped notice in the news cycle:

I’m sure the original research would be better to read, but I don’t have time tonight.

A selection of the NBC summary:

In a statement that dubs Earth’s deep biosphere a “subterranean Galapagos” waiting to be studied, DCO scientists estimate that the sheer biomass of carbon-based life lurking below our feet utterly dwarfs the amount of life roaming the Earth’s surface. With about 17 billion to 25 billion tons of carbon (15 to 23 billion metric tonnes) under the planet’s surface, DCO researchers estimate there is nearly 300 to 400 times as much carbon biomass underground (most of it still undiscovered) as there is in all the humans on Earth.

Researchers have drilled miles into the seafloor and sampled the microbiomes from mines and boreholes at hundreds of sites around the world. Data from these sites suggest that the world’s deep biosphere spans roughly 500 million cubic miles (2.3 billion cubic kilometers) — about twice the volume of all the Earth’s oceans — and houses about 70 percent of all the planet’s bacteria and single-cell archaea.

Wow! Gives new meaning to Psalm 104:24:

How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.


(Laura) #2

Wow… my mind is blown. My kids are interested in outer space these days, so contrasting the vastness of that with the intricateness of all of this right here on planet earth is incredible. Thanks for sharing!


#3

And there is this amazing fact.
.
“We know more about the surface of Mars than we know about the ocean floor…only 10-15% of the ocean floor has been mapped with any accuracy.”

– John Sparks, curator, Department of Ichthyology, AMNH

Watch the short video from “Unseen Oceans”


(system) closed #4

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