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Info Request: Subterranean Life


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I've read that there's two or three times the 'surface' biomass of Earth, living as micro-organisms, deep underground. Kilometer's deep, by some accounts.


Most life is a mile deep?


How true is this?


(I'm not asking for web-links. I'm asking for people who know what they are talking about).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I read something about subterranean microorganisms that live near the mantle and produce chemicals which we find inside the Earths crust. I only saw it in passing; but I remember it was some theory related to the existence of Oil in the Earths crust.


can anyone give me more information about this?

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Generally called subsurface lithoautotrophic microbial ecosystems (SLME or SLiME). They are usually measured indirectly, by molecular or genetic byproducts, which doesn't give a precise measure of the biomass. Plus the only research sites are mines, which can obviously suffer from contamination. As such the biomass estimates should be taken with a grain of (ba)salt.



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