Oil-eating bacteria found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench

According to scientists, only 5% of the ocean floor has been studied in detail. By comparison, we know much more about the surface of Mars and the far side of the Moon. But it seems that soon one ocean secret will be less.

The Mariana Trench is the deepest and perhaps the least explored place in the World Ocean. Its depth is about 11, 000 meters. Among the latest finds made here are previously unknown living organisms and strange sounds emanating from the sea abyss. And now the list of unique discoveries has been supplemented by bacteria feeding on hydrocarbons, which were discovered by a team of scientists at the University of East Anglia.

For a new study, they collected samples of the microbial population from the bottom of the Mariana Trench. After reconstructing their natural habitat in a laboratory, it was found that these bacteria consume hydrocarbons. None of the known species of microorganisms has such an ability.

The question arises: where could they "learn" this? To answer it, scientists took water samples from the surface of the depression, as well as at depths of 2000, 4000 and 6000 meters. All samples were found to contain oil particles. It should be clarified that not all detected hydrocarbons are the result of environmental pollution. Some of them are the product of the vital activity of deep-sea microbes.

According to scientists, the consumption and release of hydrocarbons helps microorganisms to survive under tremendous pressure. For your information, at the bottom of the Mariana Trench it is 108.6 MPa, which is 1072 times more than the usual "earth" one. Research into unique bacteria continues.