SomethingToPonder

Underground Lake untouched for 1.5 - 2.64 Billion years Found - Life could exist.

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Hi all, read an article in New scientist , issue dated 18.05.2013. The article is entitled The deep, Dark lake frozen in time on page 10.

Now i cannot be bothered typing it all out by i highly suggest you all read it online somewhere.

The main points however i will state.
The ;lake is 2.5 kilometers below earth's surface and circulates through fractures of rocks of a Canadian copper mine. Dating techniques indicate it has been isolated from the the rest of the planet for 2.64 billion years making it a time capsule for life on the early days of earth.
Sherwood lollar a microbiologist from the univerity of Toronto Says the conditions are perfect for life. "What is unique about about this water is that it has the potential to be an ecosystem. " Says christopher ballentine of the University of Manchester in The UK, Whose lab carried out the dating analyses. "because there is a large volume of fluid, The water can react with rock to generate hydrogen and methane.Suddenly we have all the chemicals to support life" he says.

Sherwood lolar says she has a hunch they will find bacteria, but she is almost as excited about the prospect of finding nothing at all.
Water that is 1.5 - 2.6 billion years old is a time capsule from the Precambrian - a period when life was dominated by single celled organisms. " if future searches do yield [indigenous ] microorganisms they would provide enormous insight into the evolution of life on our planet " Says tullis Onstott at princeton University.
Equally finding lifeless water would give us an unprecedented window on he primordial soup from which life might have evolved.
"the problem on earth is that life has dominated for billions of years," says sherwood lollar " This could be a tiny place where we still have a remnant of the kinds of prebiotic conditions that might have existed on early earth"
In the long run sherwood Lollar hopes to find a whole series of these enclosed water worlds. Each from a different period in earth's prehistory. Further afield, she and balletnine point out that the rocks from the Canadian mine are similar in chemistry and age to rocks in the subsurface of mars, suggesting fertile conditions could persist inside the red planet for millions of years,


Now this was only a few parts of the article i really urge you to try and get a hold of a copy of New scientist or read it online as it is a fascinating read.

However i can just see some sort of fish, half dinosaur have organism type thing, Developed to the darkness of being a mile underground , Sort of a cross between a lantern fish and a shark, just swimming about down there, Il tell you something i would not want to be the divers tasked to check this underground lake out. It sounds like something out of a horror movie.

A 2 and a half billion years old ecosystem that we didn't even know about! Who knows what could have evolved down there!

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I think it is unlikely a large organism could evolve in such small environments. The old goldfish in the bowl limitation. Is there a possibility it was once connected to larger bodies? Again, the largest life forms would have to be sized to the environment that could support it. Or be given time to evolve to the ecosystems limits of scale which seems highly unlikely. I've see those blind fish, spiders and crickets in those deep cave pools some time back, all of them immigrants from the upper world. They are the survivors, the remains of larger animals (including humans) that penetrated these places are sometimes found beyond the environments that could support them. arc

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I think it is unlikely a large organism could evolve in such small environments. The old goldfish in the bowl limitation. Is there a possibility it was once connected to larger bodies? Again, the largest life forms would have to be sized to the environment that could support it. Or be given time to evolve to the ecosystems limits of scale which seems highly unlikely. I've see those blind fish, spiders and crickets in those deep cave pools some time back, all of them immigrants from the upper world. They are the survivors, the remains of larger animals (including humans) that penetrated these places are sometimes found beyond the environments that could support them. arc

It is always possible though, Most likely there will be guaranteed micro-organisms. However 2.6 billion years is a long time, a very long time, and more than enough time for something to evolve down there. The place was found in a 2km deep mine, So i suppose in 2.6 billion years the earth has moved a hell of a lot, that could have been sea level 1 billion years ago, but if they are saying it's untouched i doubt it. But things could have always gotten in there, My point is though, if there was an ecosystem down there, Given enough time, which it certainly had, then there would be no problem evolving something from a micro-organism into something bigger, and it would only make sense that they had adapted to pure darkness probably heightened sense of smell etc.

 

What is to stop something evolving down there? Humans have evolved a hell of a long way in the last 2.6 billion years, hell we weren't even around as far as i know that far back, there could be a whole zoo down there.I doubt it, But i reckon there is something down there. How do we know a dinosaur era animal or whatever is not still surviving, We know that there are certain animals that have survived since that period because of certain characteristics or habitats, Water being the main one. I would bet there is something there. If bacteria and organisms can survive then there is the potential for evolution, especially over billions of years.

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The ;lake is 2.5 kilometers below earth's surface and circulates through fractures of rocks of a Canadian copper mine.

At what point is an underground lake different from an aquifer that circulates through fractures? How much free space is involved? Is it a rock structure that looks like a sponge or is it a massive water filled cavern or caverns, as some caves are just filled with water. arc

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At what point is an underground lake different from an aquifer that circulates through fractures? How much free space is involved? Is it a rock structure that looks like a sponge or is it a massive water filled cavern or caverns, as some caves are just filled with water. arc

Im under the impression it is a fairly big space, Cavern like. Not like a sponge or anything. Constantly filled, scientists are currently presuming it is inhabited as it has shown all signs of life and all the required elements for life. Although this has not been proven yet.

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Sounds like the perfect place for a test of a NASA remote submarine. The one that is going to Jupiter's moon Europa. I don't imagine anything bigger than a small shrimp and something a little bigger to eat it. Anything bigger would have eaten itself out of its food supply. Is this geothermal chemical driven or just a deep cave kind of hot water. Those brine thermal chemical pools at Yellowstone would be a good model for a possible water chemistry. I'm really curious about temperature and chemicals in there.

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It's them giant Precambrian worms you have to worry about...

You should see the size of the rod and reel.

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My guess is that they will find something but that something would be a few species of simple worms or fishes.

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My guess is that they will find something but that something would be a few species of simple worms or fishes.

Depends, We'r talking about an ecosystem much older than the one your sitting in right now, I reckon there is every possibility of many different species and a food chain.

 

But i suppose even if they only found a few simple species it would still be pretty cool. I still wouldn't' want to be the diver sent down there to scope it out though!

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It is always possible though, Most likely there will be guaranteed micro-organisms. However 2.6 billion years is a long time, a very long time, and more than enough time for something to evolve down there. The place was found in a 2km deep mine, So i suppose in 2.6 billion years the earth has moved a hell of a lot, that could have been sea level 1 billion years ago, but if they are saying it's untouched i doubt it. But things could have always gotten in there, My point is though, if there was an ecosystem down there, Given enough time, which it certainly had, then there would be no problem evolving something from a micro-organism into something bigger, and it would only make sense that they had adapted to pure darkness probably heightened sense of smell etc.

 

What is to stop something evolving down there? Humans have evolved a hell of a long way in the last 2.6 billion years, hell we weren't even around as far as i know that far back, there could be a whole zoo down there.I doubt it, But i reckon there is something down there. How do we know a dinosaur era animal or whatever is not still surviving, We know that there are certain animals that have survived since that period because of certain characteristics or habitats, Water being the main one. I would bet there is something there. If bacteria and organisms can survive then there is the potential for evolution, especially over billions of years.

Something to keep in mind is that a part of the driving force for evolution is change in environment. Without it, the rate of evolution is very slow. In an environment that has not changed in 2.6 billion years, you are likely to see little evolution.

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Something to keep in mind is that a part of the driving force for evolution is change in environment. Without it, the rate of evolution is very slow. In an environment that has not changed in 2.6 billion years, you are likely to see little evolution.

Good point, I hadn't even considered that.

On the front cover, it describes it as an "underground oasis" if that's any help lol.

check out new scientist magazine and have a read of the article, It actually is very interesting and they highlight how much relevance it could be whether or not life is found.

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