Deep Life

Deep Life

The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond

Book - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
Explains challenges faced by researchers in their quest to learn more about the origins of life and the potential existence of extraterrestrials through examining lifeforms in extreme environments beneath the earthÆs crust, whether below the desert floor on frozen under the Arctic tundra.

Princeton University Press

Deep Life takes readers to uncharted regions deep beneath Earth's crust in search of life in extreme environments and reveals how astonishing new discoveries by geomicrobiologists are helping the quest to find life in the solar system.

Tullis Onstott, named one of the 100 most influential people in America by Time magazine, provides an insider’s look at the pioneering fieldwork that is shining vital new light on Earth’s hidden biology—a thriving subterranean biosphere that scientists once thought to be impossible. Come along on epic descents two miles underground into South African gold mines to experience the challenges that Onstott and his team had to overcome. Join them in their search for microbes in the ancient seabed below the desert floor in the American Southwest, and travel deep beneath the frozen wastelands of the Arctic tundra to discover life as it could exist on Mars.

Blending cutting-edge science with thrilling scientific adventure, Deep Life features rare and unusual encounters with exotic life forms, including a bacterium living off radiation and a hermaphroditic troglodytic worm that has changed our understanding of how complex subsurface life can really be. This unforgettable book takes you to the absolute limits of life—the biotic fringe—where today’s scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself.

Book News
This volume describes the exploration and discoveries about the limits of life beneath the Earth's crust over the past 25 years and what it might mean for life in the solar system and Mars. It describes the author's research and the history of these discoveries, including the discovery of bacteria inhabiting rocks 9,000 feet beneath the surface of the Earth, drilling in New Mexico and Colorado in search of life, and how researchers used geological history to determine the origins of the microbes collected from drilling, including the work of the Subsurface Science Program; research in South African gold mines; plans made in NASA meetings for drilling on Mars to detect life beneath the surface; research in ice caves in the Arctic Circle in Canada; and the possibility of using caves to gain access to subterranean life. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Princeton :, Princeton University Press,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780691096445
Characteristics: xvii, 486 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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