Scientists have successfully revived the dinosaur-borne microbes in the ocean floor, bringing them to life as well as increasing their numbers.
The study sheds light on the astonishing power of the early life on Earth, which has been buried in the depths of the earth for millions of years without oxygen or food and has now been brought to life in a laboratory.
Japan Agency for Marine The Earth Science and Technology research team analyzed more than 100 million years old specimens of the South Pacific layer.
The region is known for its low nutritional value compared to other parts of the world and is not considered an ideal place to live.
The research team removed millions of years of lifeless germs from these specimens and, surprisingly, almost all living things returned to life.
“When I discovered them, at first it was suspected that they were the result of some kind of error or failure of the experiment,” said Yuki Morono, head of the research team.
“But now we know that there is no age limit for these microbes found in the ocean floor,” he said.
Steven de Hondt, a professor at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography who was part of the research team, said the germs were discovered in excavations in the earliest parts of the ocean floor.
“These are the oldest specimens we’ve ever excavated, where the amount of food was very small, but still there were living germs numb, then they woke up, developed and increased their numbers,” he said.
According to him, the energy level in sea level microbes is millions of times lower than that found on earth.
Given such a low energy level, Yuki Morono said it was a mystery how these seabed germs could survive.
Previous research reports have shown that bacteria can survive in areas of the earth where life is unlikely to grow, including underwater areas where there is no oxygen.