Astrobiologists have welcomed the discovery of uranium-cooking bacteria that live two miles under the Earth’s surface. Such exotic and hardy organisms indicate that life might exist in subsurface environments on all sorts of planets that were previously considered inhospitable. Perhaps most fascinating are the feeding habits of the new organisms. They depend not on sunlight, but on radiation from uranium ores for their existence.
Another example are the bacteria that live in hydrothermal vents on the floor of the ocean. These bacteria rely on minerals that seep through these vents at extremely hot temperatures, and animals that eat these bacteria live at these vents as well. Since they are miles below the surface of the ocean, they never see daylight.
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