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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 05:48 PM

Surprised Scientists Find Lifeforms Six Miles Above Earth’s Surface

Source: Gizmodo

For the first time, scientists have found lifeforms where nobody thought it was possible: floating in the troposphere, the slice of the atmosphere approximately four to six miles (eight to 15 kilometers) above Earth's surface. And not just a tiny few, but lot: 20% of every particle in that atmospheric layer are living organisms.

This has profound implications for our understanding of weather, the spread of disease, and life on other planets.

Scientists previously believed that all the suspended particles in this part of the atmosphere were dust and salt, but this new study—"the first of its kind" say the researchers—demonstrates that life can exist in places that we couldn't imagine, under such extreme conditions, living and feeding. According to Kostas Konstantinidis, assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Civil and Environmental Engineering:

"We did not expect to find so many microorganisms in the troposphere, which is considered a difficult environment for life. There seems to be quite a diversity of species, but not all bacteria make it into the upper troposphere."


Read more: http://gizmodo.com/5980166/surprised-scientists-find-lifeforms-six-miles-above-earths-surface

40 replies, 6514 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Surprised Scientists Find Lifeforms Six Miles Above Earth’s Surface (Original post)
Redfairen Jan 2013 OP
MuseRider Jan 2013 #1
Deep13 Jan 2013 #2
hughee99 Jan 2013 #18
aquart Jan 2013 #25
Politicalboi Jan 2013 #33
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #3
daleo Jan 2013 #17
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #39
daleo Feb 2013 #40
bananas Jan 2013 #29
Katashi_itto Jan 2013 #4
TexasTowelie Jan 2013 #5
KoKo Jan 2013 #6
ForgoTheConsequence Jan 2013 #7
KoKo Jan 2013 #9
Spitfire of ATJ Jan 2013 #8
Voice for Peace Jan 2013 #10
Beartracks Jan 2013 #11
BlancheSplanchnik Jan 2013 #14
Beartracks Jan 2013 #22
Hekate Jan 2013 #12
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #16
Beartracks Jan 2013 #23
Hekate Jan 2013 #28
benld74 Jan 2013 #13
forestpath Jan 2013 #15
octoberlib Jan 2013 #19
mia Jan 2013 #20
AnotherDreamWeaver Jan 2013 #21
aquart Jan 2013 #24
mia Jan 2013 #27
Angry Dragon Jan 2013 #34
Beartracks Jan 2013 #26
bananas Jan 2013 #30
Politicalboi Jan 2013 #31
petronius Jan 2013 #32
slackmaster Jan 2013 #36
leveymg Jan 2013 #35
Hubert Flottz Jan 2013 #37
Kablooie Jan 2013 #38

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 05:56 PM

1. Interesting.

It will be interesting to see what develops from this. Thanks!

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:10 PM

2. When tested for ability to respond to stimuli...

scientists found the newly discovered organic material to be between 15 and 20% smarter than creationists and climate deniers.

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:09 PM

18. Yes, but that's setting the bar pretty low. n/t

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:09 AM

25. +1

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:39 AM

33. Where's James Cameron when ya need him

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:24 PM

3. I wonder if that's where we should be looking for life on Mars?

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:49 PM

17. I believe there have been speculations about Venus in this regard

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Response to daleo (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 11:01 AM

39. That is very cool. Isn't there a theory that life is pervasive, and exists almost everywhere?

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #39)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:18 AM

40. There are theories of panspermia

Essentially, that life (at least bacterial life) seeded the Earth from space. I believe it's a possibility that is more scientifically acceptable these days than in the past. Fred Hoyle, a noted astrophysicist was a proponent of the idea, among others.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:26 AM

29. Just thinking the same thing! nt

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:31 PM

4. Thing on the wing...

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:33 PM

5. And in further breaking news...

idiotic Republicans in Texas are now blaming the drought on President Obama for his liberal, socialist influence on these microorganisms.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:40 PM

6. Well..."Gizmodo" is an authority on Science..... well...interesting...but, taken

with a few "grains of salt.:

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Response to KoKo (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:44 PM

7. They link to the study.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to prove here unless Georgia Tech and NASA are to be taken with a grain of salt also.

https://www.gatech.edu/newsroom/release.html?nid=187111

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:35 PM

9. Hey...it's Georgia Tech Research or something. My Dad graduated there....

in Engineering...but..it's something to read....but always be aware with folks wanting to have attention.

Hey...it's an interesting read...but....questions...which is GOOD!



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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:28 PM

8. When are we going to stop seeing the "difficult environment for life" crap?

Life thrives in every environment.

It must be ego or something that makes us think everything thrives at room temperature.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:36 PM

10. maybe they are microgods

in the trogosphere, creating and destroying tiny worlds

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 07:39 PM

11. 20% of the particles are living organisms...

And another 60-70%% is most likely particles of uh, microscopic, um, waste.



All kidding aside, this is an extremely interesting discovery.

============================

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Response to Beartracks (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:17 PM

14. AGHHHHHH! They're POOPIN!

POOPIN on tha CLOUDS, I tell ya!!!!!!!!!!






cooooool! I love little creatures.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:04 AM

22. All life forms eat, reproduce, and excrete. Yay!

I wonder if there are pictures?

(Obviously I haven't read the article...)

===============

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:04 PM

12. I love this kind of stuff!

Ever since I read about single celled organisms alive in the rocks 2 miles down in an African mine, I have been prepared to believe the entire Earth, from troposphere to deep sea trenches to molten center, is capable of sustaining some form of life.

There are life forms clinging to the undersides of the ice sheets of Antarctica. There are life forms living alongside boiling hot vents at the bottom of the ocean. There are nematodes living on bacteria over two miles under the earth in South African gold mines.

Mother Earth

Hekate

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Response to Hekate (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:34 PM

16. Me too.

Isn't science great?

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Response to Hekate (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:07 AM

23. Nematodes ON bacteria??

"There's a hair on the mole on the nematode on the bacteria on the bump on the frog at the hole in the bottom of the mine!"



================

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Response to Beartracks (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:23 AM

28. Set to music already, I see.

The bacteria form a slick coating on the walls, the nematodes just graze along. All very very tiny.

"There's a hole, there's a hole,
there's a hole in the bottom of the mine!"

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:13 PM

13. Have the scientists EVER checked Congress?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:58 PM

15. Somewhere Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Huevelman are smiling.

 

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:27 PM

19. Interesting. I love science! nt

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:40 PM

20. All of our ancestors in microscopic form?

Last edited Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:17 AM - Edit history (1)

I'll sleep on this thought tonight.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:49 PM

21. the Byrds made it to 8...

figured someone had to say it...

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:07 AM

24. Angels.

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Response to aquart (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:15 AM

27. Like.

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Response to aquart (Reply #24)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:53 AM

34. Also my thought

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:14 AM

26. This reminds me a bit of Arthur Clarke's "A Meeting with Medusa"...

... except there the life forms lived in the atmosphere of Jupiter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Meeting_with_Medusa

===================

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:29 AM

30. This could support the Panspermia theory

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:29 AM

31. This has been known since the 60's



Klingon on the wing. LOL! Now who's CRAZY!

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:32 AM

32. A bit of nitpicking: the troposphere extends from the surface up to ~12-14 km; I think

they mean to express surprise at life being found in the 'upper troposphere.' Also "four to six miles" is not "eight to 15 kilometers."

Pretty fascinating finding, however...

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Response to petronius (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:59 AM

36. The article is pretty sloppy with the language. I'm a proud resident of the troposphere.

 

I hope you all are too.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:53 AM

35. Surprised it took you guys so long to notice us up here.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:57 AM

37. I've always felt like...

something was watching me.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:06 AM

38. Maybe the Tea Party can move up there then to create their new Randian society.

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