A group of researchers studying methane hydrate, or as it is also called flammable ice, in the cold and dark depths of the Sea of Japan, discovered microscopic creatures that perfectly exist in unfavorable conditions for life.
According to a press release from the University of Aberdeen, microbial colonies were found inside bubbles of oil and water trapped in frozen layers of flammable ice.
Dr. Glen Snyder, lead author of an article published in Scientific Reports, noticed an unusual powdery substance as he melted a lump of methane hydrate. The powder consisted of tiny spherical structures with dark cores.
Using special analysis methods developed at the University of Aberdeen, Dr. Stephen Bowden discovered that the oil was broken down by microorganisms found in methane hydrate: “Combined with other evidence collected by my colleagues, the results of the analysis showed that life can flourish even in near-freezing temperatures and extremely high pressures, using only heavy oil and salt water as food."
Scientists said that the discovery was another proof that life can exist in extreme conditions, including, hypothetically, on other planets.