In what sounds like the plot of a science fiction film, a team of scientists drilling a half-mile below the ice in Antarctica have discovered a never-before-seen life form.
The tiny organisms were found clinging to rocks some 3,000 feet below the Earth's surface, in conditions previously thought to be too harsh to sustain any form of life, according to the findings of the British Antarctic Survey. The life forms “appear to go against all previous theories of what types of life could survive” in sub-zero conditions, the group reports.
While similar organisms are known to survive on food sources that replenish through photosynthesis, the closest area that supports the phenomenon is nearly 1,000 miles away, scientists say. Research is underway to learn more about the new life form, they say. Could this discovery provide a clue to the origin of life?