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Life Thrives Within the Earth’s Crust

From journeys into mines to explorations of volcanoes on the ocean floor, deep voyages reveal the richness of the planet’s deep biosphere.

The Icelandic island of Surtsey (left) was created by a four-year volcanic eruption in the 1960s.
The Icelandic island of Surtsey (left) was created by a four-year volcanic eruption in the 1960s.
Foto:
Solveig Lie Onstad

The focus on documenting microbial and even eukaryotic life, dwelling hundreds of meters deep in the Earth’s crust is an expanding field of research. Researchers are now exploring this living underworld, or deep biosphere, in not only the ancient, slow-changing continental crust beneath our feet, but also in the thinner, more dynamic oceanic crust under the seafloor. Our own researcher Steffen Jørgensen has joined in on this exciting hunt for the signs of life into the Earth! Read more about this in the interesting article “Life Thrives within the Earth’s Crust” recently published in The Scientist.