The hidden world under the sea: Scientists find ‘parallel universe’ of life INSIDE the basalt of the oceanic crust

  • Scientists took core samples from crust hidden beneath 2.5km of water and hundreds of metres of sediment
  • They found evidence of micro-organisms living in the total absence of light and almost entirely disconnected from the world above
  • New discoveries about how such creatures survive in the extreme environment could help inform search for life on other planets

A parallel universe of life exists hidden beneath our planet’s ocean floors and could help us search for life on other planets, new research claims.

An international team of scientists found evidence of tiny creatures living inside the basalt of the Pacific Ocean floor – covered by 2.5km of water and hundreds of metres of sediment.

The results of their studies, published today in the journal Science, have revealed evidence of a vast ecosystem whose characteristics are entirely different from any previously investigated.

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