Deep underground, it turns out, there is also life. And its scale is amazing.

We usually write about science in an ironic way: the themes of some studies are unlikely to come up with even the best stand-up comedians, and the details sometimes look absurd and attract attention.

On the other hand, some important discoveries in science occur in such areas and with such formulations in theses that it’s impossible to write about them without making a three-page footnote in small print.

But there are exceptions. The scientific work, which will be discussed now, is large-scale, important and really sensational.

There is a research project Deep Carbon Observatory. 200 scientists from different countries are studying in detail what is happening in the bowels of the Earth. In general, the “insides” of the Earth turned out to be rather strange: we know about space by several orders of magnitude more than about what is under our feet. All that is known from the school textbook on geography about the earth's crust, magma and the core is a set of hypotheses with a high degree of probability, but only a small part of the natural sciences is really interested in "earth-searching."

A recent study published by the Deep Carbon Observatory claims that there are many living beings within the Earth. But they have evolved and exist according to completely different laws. Until now, it was thought that the largest genetic biomass is human. There are 7 billion of us, and we happily continue to multiply. However, according to the study, the largest biomass is bacteria living underground. Their biomass is a hundred times more human and at least 2 billion cubic kilometers.

The life of the underground inhabitants, which scientists called "zombies", is slow, and their life cycles are not focused on the alternation of day and night, like those of the "surface." The lifespan of one such creature can reach ten thousand years, it extracts energy from the oxidation of minerals, and spends mainly on the restoration of its own cells.

But this study is only the beginning: the list of further questions identified by scientists is impressive. I wonder how developed these organisms are, whether they are capable of thinking, how they multiply and how they are divided into species.

But, most importantly, if the diversity of underground life is confirmed, then this raises a completely different question about the habitability of other planets. And very seriously increases its likelihood.

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