The very first research study to take a gander into what kind of biological activity there is in the deepest part of the ocean crust has turned up bacteria with an astonishing range of abilities, which include eating oil, natural gas, and “fixing” or storing carbon.

This new study, which was recently released in the journal PloS One, has demonstrated that a vast number of bacterial lifeforms were thriving, even when the temperatures reached the boiling point of water.

“This is a new ecosystem that almost no one has ever explored,” commented a professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, Martin Fisk. “We expected some bacterial forms, but the long list of biological functions that are taking place so deep beneath the Earth is surprising.”

The Oceans crust cover close to seventy percent of the surface of our planet and it’s geology has been explored to a certain degree, however no one has bothered to look into its biology – because it is hard to do, and very costly, but also because most scientists have always taken it for granted that nothing was happening down there.

The temperatures rise exponentially as you get deeper – as any high school graduate can tell you – and researchers now think that the maximum temperatures which can harbor life are at about 250 degrees.

So, now you know, when we think we know something about the world – such as boiling water kills bacteria – we are thrown a curve ball. However, the discovery that some of these organisms like to eat oil is very exciting indeed.