As strange as this may sound, meteorites are a microbe’s favorite food. The creature’s peculiar eating habits could help humans solve some ancient mysteries regarding how early life forms were able to endure the harsh conditions that were present on our planet.
An extremely resilient microbe loves alien minerals
RT.com addresses the Metallosphaera sedula, which is a highly resilient microbe that has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures and highly acidic environments.
This creature can reportedly survive solely on a diet of space rocks, new research published in Scientific Reports has just discovered.
This finding is doing more than shedding light on the way in which organisms can survive on other planets. This can also provide valuable info about how early life here on Earth may have thrived on nutrients that have been imported from outer space.
“Meteorites may have delivered a variety of essential compounds facilitating the evolution of life, as we know it on Earth,” the study revealed.
You probably don’t know, but these microbes fall under the archaea domain, and these were applied to sterilize slabs of meteorite, and they were carefully observed under microscopes. Experts analyzed the metal ions that these creatures freed as they ate.
Eating alien minerals is more beneficial to the ancient microorganism
The online publication mentioned above says that when compared to organisms that were fed chalcopyrite, which is an Earth mineral, the “meteorite-eaters” ate their portions and metabolized the space rocks. There were also found to be growing at a far faster rate.
Consuming the alien minerals “seems to be more beneficial for this ancient microorganism than a diet on terrestrial mineral sources,” according to the University of Vienna astrobiologist Tetyana Milojevic. She is also the lead author of the study mentioned above.
We recommend that you check out the complete research in order to find out the complete details on this really interesting matter.