There is only one known planet in the Cosmos, on which there is life – the Earth. The most surprising thing is that it’s hard to find a place that would be absolutely uninhabited. And how many in general on the planet of living beings – it is simply impossible to calculate. All of them – from bacteria to whales, move, breathe, move, reproduce …
Only species on the planet are 5 million, and the total mass of all living and plant forms is 2.4 teratons. In the end, if all this is evenly distributed over the surface, then it will be too tight. It is no coincidence that mono- and multicellular creatures have learned to survive in any conditions.
Scientists periodically make discoveries that they themselves are surprised. So, recently a bacterium that feeds on arsenic has been discovered! But this element is considered in principle poisonous for living beings. And how after such a talk about the end of the world?
If all the inhospitable corners of the Earth could be gathered into a single reserve that would be open to tourists … Then, according to the results of the excursion, our garbage will seem like a paradise, and the toilet is a fragrant meadow where the smells of grass alternate with the freshness of the stream .
Life in liquid asphalt.
The Caribbean island of Trinidad has the world’s largest lake of hot carbonated tar. Its area is equal to the area of the whole Vatican. The lake clearly has a volcanic origin, and the heating comes here from under the ocean floor. Externally picturesque local residents, picking up simple instruments, extract from the lake Peach a donated building material. True, this amount of asphalt did not give Trinidad and Tobago the best roads in the world. But scientists in a hot lake are always looking for something, as soon as it was discovered in 1595. The fact is that they are attracted here by extremist bacteria. There are 10 million pieces in each gram of boiling asphalt. They live in an environment with a temperature of about 50 degrees Celsius. At the same time, there is practically no free water in the viscous mass, which is the basis of life. It is necessary to produce bacteria by itself. They do not breathe oxygen with oxygen, content with hydrocarbons and metals instead. Not so long ago, similar boiling thick water bodies were discovered on Titan. This satellite of Saturn is considered suitable for the existence of primitive organic life. Only there the hot core does not heat black resin, but whole seas of liquid hydrocarbons. It remains only to find within them a unicellular alien life. Life in radioactive waters.
What can be worse than ionizing radiation, which splits living flesh into free radicals? A dose of 10 grays can kill a person, but the bacteria Deinococcus Radodurans it is not terrible. Do not hurt her and irradiation in 5000 gray. Increasing the dose three times, to deprive the life of this creature will not succeed. This feature of the microbe even led to its inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. His secret, allowing to survive – is constantly creating a copy of his own DNA. Radio beams kill one genome, and at that time another one is already turned on. This allows some cells of deinococci in general to live practically forever. If only enough radioactive waste to feed.
Life in boiling water.
Temperature of 121 degrees Celsius is used for sterilization of fish and meat canned food. Only such boiling water can kill botulinum pathogens. At a depth of 5,000 meters in the Caribbean Sea in pitch darkness, hydrothermal springs are struck from the bottom. These fountains of boiling water are the deepest in the world. It is worth to get here a man, a fish or a crab – they are brewed in the blink of an eye. But boiling water does not touch the beautiful polychaete worms. They live here in safety, and long bodies are hidden in chitinous shells. These worms have no intestines, not even mouth. Their life energy polychaete-extremals are obtained as a result of synthesis, during the processing of hydrogen sulfide. These thermophilic creatures live for a rather long time, scientists even met 250-year-olds.
Life after sterilization.
Many are wondering if our Earth can infect another planet or satellite with its microorganisms. Scientists claim that yes. When there is a preparation for flight into space, the specialists subject to sterilization everything that is possible – instruments, instruments and even air inside the ship. Suddenly, terrestrial bacteria will reach Mars, and humanity will decide what life has found there? Therefore, all the details of the probes pass through the most severe sanitary treatment with the help of plasma and radiation. After that, the devices are stored in ideally sterile rooms. But even after all this they still detect germs. Such bacteria simply despise death. They need very little food for their existence, so they calmly refer to absolute purity. It turned out that such unpretentious bacteria as many as 193 species, and yet all this – potential space “rabbits”. Now scientists know who should not be taken into account when studying the soil of distant studied planets.
Life in the Dead Sea.
Few people are able to survive in such a saline brine. That’s why the lake got its name. But a resting person, lying on the surface of the Dead Sea and reading a newspaper, does not even suspect that the water is fine with halophilic microbes. These creatures are very persistent. They are not frightened not only by concentrated saline solution, but even by vacuum and ultra-low cosmic temperatures. If there were an organic life on Mars, such microorganisms might well have been preserved in a conserved form. Such a time bomb could evolve into something strange and unpleasant for us.
Life in Martian conditions.
Dry valleys of the Antarctic are called the “Martian Garden” or simply hell. People there are waiting for severe tests, where romance is no longer the place. These are the most real deserts, because there was no more rain or snow for 2 million years. The wind here rushes with a speed of 300 km / h, and the air temperature – minus 20 degrees Celsius. When in April 2009, scientists took soil samples in this unfriendly place, then to their surprise there appeared “capsules of time”. These microorganisms hit the dry valleys with the last rain in their memory. Here they live, not freezing and not afraid of frost. Bacteria do not need oxygen or light. It is unclear on what basis their life is based – on the mummies of ancient animals or on the belief in their own uniqueness?
Life in the thickness of ice.
Bacteria can live in different conditions. And Antarctica does not frighten them at all. Microorganisms even move through this snowy world in the thickness of forever frozen water in the composition of icebergs and glaciers. Bacteria sleep in the oldest ice of the planet, expecting, perhaps, global warming. When scientists thawed them in the laboratory, Antarctic microbes showed an approximate passion for life. DNA, more than a million years old, was unused, began to work, as if nothing had happened. Perhaps due to the fact that the genome of ancient bacteria is much shorter than that of our contemporaries. Nucleotides here are only 210 pairs against 3 million. Life in poisonous mud.
To achieve its own place, not even under the Sun, but far from it, some multicellular ones refuse oxygen! A striking example is the loricifer spinoloricus, whose length is only 150 microns. The composition of its cells includes hydrogenosomes, just like in fungi. As a result of this creature, oxygen is not only not needed, but even harmful. Sly organisms live in an airless space filled with salted silt in the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea. There is so much hydrogen sulfide that there is enough to poison the good half of the sea. Who knows what would have happened, give open anaerobic creatures billions of years for evolution? Perhaps, then, there would be a race of intelligent beings on the planet that did not need oxygen at all.
Life is deep underground.
Mankind is constantly striving for the Earth’s interior with various purposes.One of the deepest man-made holes on the planet is not far from Johannesburg. The depth of the gold mine of the mine is 3777 meters. But at the very bottom of it, at a temperature of 60 degrees, live hermit bacteria. The source of their existence is the nuclear reaction. Ore gives a radioactive cure that helps split water molecules. When atomic hydrogen is restored, energy is released that gives life to microbes. Bacteria have tails with which they float on moisture filling the cracks in the rock.
Life in space emptiness.
The Pacific is one of the most interesting creatures on Earth. It is microscopically small, has eight legs. The stallion is like a bear sluggish, unpretentious, modest, but very resistant. If this bacterium is sent into open space, then it immediately falls into a hibernation, turning into something dried up. Experiments have shown that slow boats can be held in a vacuum under hard irradiation with ultraviolet for up to 10 days, and then again revive and even give offspring. These creatures have many unique features. They can survive in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide, spend up to 10 hours in boiling form and be frozen for 8 hours in liquid helium.