In a Mexican cave system so beautiful and hot that it is called both Fairyland and hell, scientists have discovered life trapped in crystals that could be 50,000 years old.
The bizarre and ancient microbes were found dormant in caves in Naica, Mexico, and were able to exist by living on minerals such as iron and manganese, said Penelope Boston, head of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute. .
“It’s super life,” said Ms. Boston, who presented the discovery Friday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Boston.
If confirmed, the find is yet another example of how microbes can survive in extremely punishing conditions on Earth.
Though it was presented at a science conference and was the result of nine years of work, the findings haven’t yet been published in a scientific journal and haven’t been peer reviewed. Ms. Boston planned more genetic tests for the microbes she revived both in the …