Extremophiles And Now Shrimps Boosting The potential For Life On Other Planets

When considering the presence of life under adversity, we shouldn’t be too quick to rule out environments based solely on extreme properties. The underwater hydrothermal vents are very hostile places as judged by life on or near Earth’s surface, yet life manages to thrive around them under conditions quite unlike anything at the surface. Undersea volcanic activity spills forth scalding-hot water rich in sulfur and poor in oxygen that manages to feed “extremeophilic” life by a process known as chemosynthesis—an analog of photosynthesis, yet one that operates in total darkness.

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