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New Methane Ecosystem

New Methane Based Ecosystem discovered

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When we talk about life, we think that it shall include oxygen, specific temperatures and other conditions that would allow the known living beings on Earth to live and thrive. Obviously we are thinking inside a box here. Fortunately a few new discoveries have shown that life can exist in completely different conditions which would be deadly for the known forms of lives.

Even in the search for habitable planets, in order to define the habitable zone around a sun we put water as a pre-requisite. However, a few years ago some scientific papers and data gathered by Cassini Spacecraft have shown that methane based life forms may exist on Titan and they consume hydrogen instead of oxygen like we do. But before going to other planets let’s stay back on planet Earth and see what new research has found.

Scientists on a marine expedition have found the largest methane ecosystem on Earth. Deep on the floor of the sea near Virginia in the US they have found a large area that spans hundreds of square meters to be rich in methane that flows in the water. And in such a harsh environment there are mussels that can survive which have special bacteria that converts methane into energy.

Further research on how life can exists in such environments could help us understand how this is done and even helps us in the search for life on other planets. The expedition that is sponsored by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will continue the research and study of life organisms that can survive those extreme conditions.

It wasn’t but a few years ago that research has shown that some super microbes can survive for hundreds of days in space.

Well if we stop thinking inside the box then we may see a reality that is beyond our imagination and open new doors to explorations and discoveries that will change mankind.

By John Black

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