Life in the Dead Sea
Living Organisms Exist in the not so Dead Sea
It's pretty exciting really. The so called "Dead Sea" is now found to be home to living bacteria. This is an incredible find. Long suspected to be subject to underwater springs, this theory was proven by a team of scientists in 2010. Underwater craters are spewing fresh water at the bottom of our Dead Sea. Fresh water spewing up from a so called "dead" sea rich with incredibly high salt content is infused with these fresh water springs! What is even more extraordinary, however, is that the scientists have now revealed these underwater springs are harboring an environment where life indeed thrives on the seabeds in the areas of the springs, in the form of bacterial mats as well as scattered bacteria.
While bacteria are small and not exactly the type of life one might think of in the form of strange new fish or other living creatures, it's exciting because it's new life, and because it thrives in an environment not thought to be able to support life. This could be incredible in the scheme of our understanding of living organisms! If something, anything, can actually thrive in such a hostile environment, the perhaps our idea of "life" as we know it, could be forever changed.
Let's explore this discovery a little more, shall we?
Photo by Chalky Lives
The Dead Sea Today
While called a "sea", today it is landlocked as a result of a dried up riverbed from the Jordan River, which used to feed into it, but was blocked off for drinking water. The Dead Sea is continuing to shrink every day, to the tune of about 1 meter per year. While the discovery of the underwater springs is a good thing, scientists have not yet determined if this could lead to the sea's restoration. In some ways, it is a double edge sword. If the water were more diluted, the high salt content which creates its interesting and medicinal effects would decrease.
The photo below is an example of the bacteria. See the full video of the German team's dive and discoveries on the link below.
Managerie of Microbes
Surprising the Researchers
the divers found mats of microbes living near the holes in the seafloor. The variety of the microorganisms living in an environment thought to be largely devoid of life was surprising
Dead Sea Diving - Not an easy feat!
Diving in the Dead Sea is more difficult because people are more buoyant here with the higher salt content. Extra weight makes it difficult to maneuver.
Change in Perspective
the study really changes how we see the Dead Sea, from a biological perspective
...Kelly Bidle, environmental microbiologist at Rider University
The Dead Sea: Famous for Cosmetic Advantages - And Deeply Shrouded in Ancient Religion
Never know what you'll find on Ebay regarding the Dead Sea. It's a good idea to check back often. I've seen some really good deals on interesting stuff pass through here.
The Dead E-Scrolls - Digitizing the Texts
The Great Isaiah Scroll
"And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
Chapter 11, Verse 6
About the Dead Sea
Dead Sea Links - well, the links are live... - Resources
- Visit Jordan
The Dead Sea
- Dead Sea not so dead, divers discover - Technology & science - Science - OurAmazingPlanet - msnb
- The Lowest Spot on Dry Land | Our Amazing Planet
The lowest spot on dry land, the Dead Sea depression sinks 400 meters (1,300 feet) below sea level.
- Huge Microbe Community May Live Deep Under Ocean Floor | Our Amazing Planet
A hidden universe teeming with life might thrive in the Earth's crust.
- New Life-Forms Found at Bottom of Dead Sea
New life-forms have been found living in freshwater springs at the otherwise barren bottom of the Dead Sea, new research shows.
- Dead Sea Actually Teeming With Life - New York News - Runnin' Scared
The Dead Sea is a lie. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute found that the body of water, once...
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