Incredible discovery of 3 billion-year-old lifeforms, just off of the Michigan coast

Another day, another discovery but this is definitely one that scientists ever expected to find within a lake that it shares with Canada.

As wild as it may seem and due to some pretty funky geography there are some mysterious sinkholes beneath the waters of Lake Huron and at the bottom of those sinkholes are some lifeforms that shouldn’t even exist.

Researchers have found microbes that would have been more likely to be found inhabiting the earth some 3 billion years ago, before the earth even had oxygen in the atmosphere.

It seems that these sinkholes, which also have researchers puzzled, are pockets of de-oxygenated water that have pooled beneath the fresh waters above. Lindsey Doermann from the Earth magazine writes about this incredible phenomena

These pockets of water teem with microbial life similar to that found around deep ocean hydrothermal vents or beneath ice-covered Antarctic lakes, not the kinds of microorganisms normally found in our own backyards . . . Before long, the true importance of these oddities became apparent: “These ecosystems in Lake Huron are analogs of the Proterozoic,” says Bopi Biddanda, a microbial ecologist at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and one of the leaders of the sinkhole science team. “They could be windows into communities that existed 3 billion years ago.”

Here’s a video of what the scientists found at the bottom of those Lake Huron sinkholes.

via io9 / top image is of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone Park – home to extremophiles via Bird Brain Science

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