Dark Life: Martian Nanobacteria, Rock-Eating Cave Bugs, and Other Extreme Organisms of Inner Earth and Outer SpaceDark Life
'The hope of finding a virgin passage is perhaps the greatest lure of caving. It can entice otherwise sane and normal people... to writhe through undulating tubes of hugging rock for hours, or to step backward off a cliff into hundreds of feet of empty darkness, tethered to life by braided nylon only a few millimetres thick.'
In their search for dark life Michael Ray Taylor and his team are confronted by lakes whose purity is beyond the measurement of technology, and experience the kind of wonderment at the promise of uncharted territory that fuelled the Victorian zeal for exploration. Penetrating up to a mile underground while lugging as much paraphernalia as an Everest assault team, they discover the oldest life on the planet—organisms that could provide the key to life on earth and that will undoubtedly deepen our ecological understanding.
Taylor names these organisms 'dark life', and reports that they 'form complex ecosystems and food chains wholly independent of sunlight, photosynthesis, oxygen and other standard requirements for "life as we know it". Dark life resembles the headline-grabbing organisms, known as nanobacteria, discovered in a Martian meteorite in 1996, thereby adding to the debate on the possibility of life elsewhere in the solar system.
Written in prose as pellucid as the immeasurably pure water of the underground lake named Castrovalva, Dark life combines adventure, revolutionary science, autobiography and a portrait of the strange smorgasbord of personalities who are the prime movers in the discovery and analysis of dark life.
Condition: Pre-loved book. Front cover pages are stuck to the cover; minor yellowing of pages.
Year published: 2000
Sub-genre: Non-fiction, biology
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