There are microorganisms living on the seafloor that reproduce only once every 10,000 years and have been alive for millions. These are likely the oldest living things on Earth.

Soil beneath ocean found to harbor long lived bacteria, fungi and viruses

( —Researchers with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have presented findings at this year’s Goldschmidt conference. They report having found bacteria, fungi and viruses living a mile and a half beneath the ocean floor—such specimens, they report, appear to be millions of years old and reproduce only every 10,000 years.

The IODP is an international effort with participants from 22 countries. Its goal is to study the history of the ocean basins, which it does by drilling (from the scientific drill ship JOIDES) deep into the ocean floor and retrieving samples of what is found.

In addition to being old, the specimens found in the soil are also sparse, at least when compared to microorganisms found in soil on the sur… Continue Reading