posted on Oct, 20 2006 @ 04:02 PM
I found an incredibly interesting article with regards to a bacteria that exists without the benefit of photosynthesis. The bacteria live's in
ancient water trapped in a crack in basalt rock, 3 to 4 kilometres down in a gold mine in Africa.
The bacteria exploits hydrogen gas to turn sulphate (SO4) molecules from rock into hydrogen sulphide (H2S). It is the energy-trapping equivalent of
photosynthesis. The energy of radiation, which makes hydrogen gas energetic enough to form these bonds, replaces the energy of the Sun.
Other sulphate-eating bacteria have been found in ocean sediments, volcanoes and oil deposits. But all have either received some chemicals produced by
photosynthesis, or it has not been clear whether they were trapped and dying, or flourishing.
In my opinion this could also be happening on far away planets too. Even though this is a very simple life-form, it is still life existing without the
benefit of sunlight.
A very compelling article can be found here:
Bacteria without Sunlight
[edit on 20-10-2006 by JohnnyAnonymous]