Scientists discover signs of life below worlds deepest point, Mariana Trench.
Scientists have discovered potential signs of life ten kilometres below the sea floor in the the deepest part of the worlds oceans, Mariana Trench
Researchers, including those from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, have ventured to Mariana Trench located in the western Pacific Ocean.
They have used Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) to extract about 46 samples of serpentine from the ocean floor near the South Chamorro mud volcano, which they brought back to their lab for study.
Researchers said, serpentine is a mineral that forms when olivine in the upper mantle meets water pushed up from a subduction zone.
Such reactions produce methane gas and hydrogen, which could be used as a food source by microbes, researchers said.
Serpentine is pushed to the surface of the sea floor by hydrothermal vents, where the researchers found it.
They found trace amounts of organic material that was very similar to that produced by microbes living in more accessible places, the Phys.org reported.
It is possible that the serpentine samples are evidence of life living far below the surface, researchers said.
The team used data from prior studies to calculate how far below the sea floor the serpentine was formed, which allowed them to estimate that the possible microbes might live - about ten kilometres below the sea floor.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench is the deepest part of the world's oceans.
It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, an average of 124 miles/200km to the east of the Mariana Islands, in the Western Pacific East of Philippines.
The trench is about 2,550 kilometres (1,580 mi) long with an average width of 69 kilometres (43 mi).
It is a crescent-shaped scar in the Earth's crust, and measures over 1500 miles/2550km long and 43 miles/69km wide on average.
It reaches a maximum-known depth of 10,994 metres (36,070 ft) (± 40 metres [130 ft]) at a small slot-shaped valley in its floor known as the Challenger Deep, at its southern end, although some unrepeated measurements place the deepest portion at 11,034 metres (36,201 ft)