Earth's most extreme lifeforms

Earth is filled with incredibly strange creatures, from thermophiles like the one seen here that can survive in temperatures up to 121 degress Celsius to the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans that thrives in 2000 times more ionising radiation than would fry a human. New Scientist features a survey of ten "extremophiles." The headline is a bit off though, reading: "The most extreme-life forms in the universe." Of course, studying these unusual organisms could give scientists insight into what life might exist on other planets, but all of the creatures in this article are found right here at home. From New Scientist:
 Data Images Ns Cms Dn14208 Dn14208-1 250 There's hardly a niche on Earth that hasn't been colonised. Life can be found in scalding, acidic hot pools, in the driest deserts, and in the dark, crushing depths of the ocean. It has even found a toehold in the frigid polar regions and in toxic dumps.

"Life on Earth has radiated into every conceivable – and in some cases almost inconceivable – ecological niche," says Chris Impey of the University of Arizona in Tucson, US.

The very existence of these hardy organisms hints that life might be able to eke out an existence in the cold, dry climate of Mars, the icy, acidic conditions of Jupiter's moon Europa, or in countless other spots beyond our solar system.
Extremophiles

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  1. Well, duh.

    Life always finds a way…

    At least thats what the hollywood movies say.

    No, really, cool!

  2. Microbes are great and all but, if you’re interested in cool extremophiles, allow me to bring Tardigrades (aka. water bears) to your attention. Tardigrades are one of, if not the, most hardy and extremophilic animals found on Earth.

    Quoting wikipedia: “Water bears are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. They can survive temperatures close to absolute zero, temperatures as high as 151°C (303°F), 1,000 times more radiation than any other animal, nearly a decade without water, and can also survive in a vacuum like that found in space.”

  3. #4: You meant to comment on another article, right?

    Unless you’ve got an axe to grind and want everyone to know it.

  4. #4: [Klaxons Sound] Alert! Alert! You are entering unnecessarily controversial territory! TURN BACK NOW!

  5. @ #4:
    I can’t see how this proves that human activities aren’t influencing the climate in significant ways.

    It also sounds like you’re blurring the confusing the survivability of a few hardy or extreme-adapted organisms with the balance of every ecological system on the entire planet.

    Most likely no matter what happens to the biosphere some form of life will survive. The question is what proportion of currently existing vertebrate, macroscopic, or even multi-cellular organisms will adjust to the transition?

  6. The headline is a bit off though, reading: “The most extreme-life forms in the universe.” Of course, studying these unusual organisms could give scientists insight into what life might exist on other planets, but all of the creatures in this article are found right here at home

    Really??!! Please, tell me “Miss Universe” is still actually the most attractive woman in the universe!

  7. Merreborn…sorry to tell you this, but she’s not even the most attractive human woman in the universe. Or the galaxy.

    Or on the planet, in my own opinion, but that’s a little more controversial.

  8. I’m waiting for confirmation of extremophile life off-world. I really, really want to see how the bible thumpers handle it. And the koran whackers and torah tossers too.

  9. the vatican buys brains, I’m looking forward to being amused by the dull witted evangelists

  10. We know that there is water (ice) on Mars and we also now know that the Martian soil could support life. It would no longer surprise me if we did find life on Mars. While everyone here is nerdy and sciency and all that, discovering life on Mars would truly be the event of the millennium. I think it would cause a good deal of social upheaval.

  11. I happened to see a bit of some show on the Discovery Channel where they were talking about glacial Ice Worms, which are quite interesting. They live at constantly near-0°C, and they actually melt if above 5°C. Maybe that’s not very hardy, but it’s pretty damn cool.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_worm

    Then they abruptly started talking about some climbing expedition, and I lost interest.

  12. Gone to that undiscovered database from whose bourn no spammer returns. Did you get a date before I nuked it?

  13. wait wait wait if there is an ocean under jupiters ice and its -90degrees then how is the water not ice also lol?

  14. Dang, what is it about this thread that attracts weird hostile anonymous comments? There are strange lifeforms lurking beneath the surface, down in the MT4 GUI.

Comments are closed.