A team of geologists has discovered tiny remnants of prokaryotic life and algae in Australia in 830 million-year-old salt rock crystals. And that’s not all, these microorganisms may still be alive.
“The potential for microorganisms to survive on geological time scales is not fully understood,” the researchers wrote.
“It has been suggested that radiation would destroy organic matter over long periods of time, however Nicastro et al (2002) found that a 250-million-year-old buried soul was exposed to only trace amounts of radiation. Moreover, the organisms Microorganism. Survives in liquid due to metabolic changes, including survival from starvation and cyst stages, and coexistence with organic compounds or dead cells that can act as food sources.”
The unusual study also has implications for the search for ancient life, not just on Earth, but in extraterrestrial environments, such as Mars, where large salt deposits have been identified as evidence of large-scale ancient liquid water reservoirs.
Central Australia is now deserted, but was once an ancient salt sea. The Brown Formation is a well-characterized and dated stratigraphic unit in central Australia, dating from the Cenozoic era. They contain extensive rock salt, which is indicative of an ancient marine environment.
Studying this amazing discovery may reveal a lot of information about the history of our world, but not only that.
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