Scientists have recently discovered a new species of nematodes (roundworms) living nearly a mile below the earth’s surface, a distance that was previously believed to be uninhabitable by any animal.
Aptly named worms from hell, the creatures were discovered in the Beatrix gold mine in South Africa by lead researchers Gaetan Borgonie of the University of Ghent in Belgium and Tullis Onstott of Princeton University.
“This is telling us something brand new,” said Onstott, “For a relatively complex creature like a nematode to penetrate that deep is simply remarkable.”
The scientific discovery of these worms from hell is guaranteed to stir up talk of extraterrestrial life, and more specifically the possibility that microbes could be living below the surface of Mars, a planet that was once warmer and better-protected by an atmosphere than it’s current cold condition.
Michael Meyer, lead scientist for Mars exploration at NASA, was not involved in the study but had this to say:
“Researchers have assumed that any subsurface life on a planet like Mars would be unicellular, this kinds of opens it up to, well, even multicellular life could be possible.”