The Universe TV - Universe TV - Charles Cockell - Horizon TV - Richard Hoover -David Attenborough TV - Extreme Universe TV - Brian Cox TV - Jupiter’s Alien Moon TV - Brian Cox TV - Richard Hoover TV - Return to the Giant Crystal Cave TV - World’s Biggest Cave TV - Paranatural: Blood Rain and Star Jelly TV - David Darling - Secrets of the Underground TV -
The NASA scientists have discovered that life can survive in places where no-one had expected. It now turns out that life can survive just about anywhere that there is water. It doesn’t seem to matter how hostile the environment is. Universe: Life
The tenacity of life here in Earth’s most extreme environments encourages many biologists to believe that life may be remarkably widespread throughout the universe. ibid.
These bacteria stained red feed off hydrogen gas created when water reacts with volcanic rock. ibid.
At the start of a new millennium we’re about to embark on the greatest adventure of all time. 500,000,000 miles from Earth a spacecraft will land of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. Its mission: to search for alien life. ibid.
The microbes of Europa would have to be far tougher than their Arctic counterparts. They’d have to survive lethal doses of radiation generated by Jupiter’s powerful magnetism. ibid.
For hundreds of years scientists believed that sunlight was the only energy source for life. But within the past few decades new research has proven them wrong. Boiling water temperatures found around hydro-thermal vents on the sea floor were once believed to be incompatible with life, but recently scientists have discovered that the areas around these black smokers are perfectly suitable for a flourishing underwater community. Instead of the sun, these creatures take their energy from the heat, gasses and minerals emitted from the vents. These highly tenacious life-forms are known as extremophiles. The Universe s3e5: Alien Faces, History 2008
The extremophile is generally a word for micro-organisms that live in physical or chemical conditions that are much more extreme than you and I are used to. People have found them growing at very low PH – that’s very acid conditions, very alkaline conditions, they can grow at temperatures, they can grow in the freezing ice sheets of Antarctica. Professor Charles Cockell, The Open University
The floor of the ocean is home to exotic heat-loving organisms clustered round undersea volcanic rifts. The molten rock below creates steam vents and boiling ... hydrothermal systems of cracks and fissures in the Earth’s crusts. The heat-loving organisms thrive on these extreme conditions. Horizon: Life is Impossible, BBC 1993
Streeter argues that these heat-loving autotrophic organisms feeding on carbon dioxide from the vents are a strong pointer to the nature of the origin of Life. ibid.
Other than light, what else could fuel life? A clue came from underneath a rubbish dump in Romania. Here cave scientists stumbled across a biological treasure trove ... It was like a bubble trapped in rock until it was broken into. Nothing from the surface had got into it perhaps for millions of years. What they had found was a world as dark and isolated as Lake Vostok ... But these creatures were unlike anything he had seen before ... the cave was completely cut off from the surface. Nothing could get through; the scum was a thick microbial mat. This was the base of the food chain. But what were the microbes living on? ... In the absence of sunlight they were using hydrogen sulphide as their energy source. Horizon: The Lost World of Lake Vostok, BBC 2000
It’s a hot and humid July in 2001. And something very strange has happened on planet Earth. Here is southern India many villages are the focus of a possible alien invasion. It starts with rain. Red rain. The local people were horrified. Horizon: We are the Aliens? re 2001 downfall of red rain southern India, BBC 2006
The particles weren’t dust at all. They were alive. But what was this mysterious life-form? There was only one way to find out: take a look at the DNA. The results came back: there was no DNA. It was life but not as we know it. ibid.
The discovery of DNA in the red rain cells has been corroborated by another lab. Yet this recent finding has done nothing to dent Chandra’s unshakable belief that the red rain is extraterrestrial. He believes that all life in the cosmos will probably share various types of DNA. ibid.
Extremophiles are far tougher than anyone had thought possible. Life can live just about anywhere. ibid.
Life has even been found living in a place more extreme than frozen penguin-do: happily making home in the heart of a nuclear reactor. ibid.
They’ve discovered [on Earth] that bacteria can survive in the permafrost for far longer than anyone had thought possible. Horizon: Life on Mars, BBC 2003
We know that there are micro-organisms on Earth that have evolved to have the ability to withstand intense levels of radiation. There are bacteria that grow on the cooling rods of nuclear reactors. Richard Hoover, NASA
We owe our existence to ice-dwelling extremophiles. David Attenborough’s First Life 1/2, Discovery 2010
Over half a mile down at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico they came to what appeared to be an underwater lake ... Hundreds of thousands of mussels ... Rich oasis of life totally independent of the sun’s energy. David Attenborough, The Blue Planet II: The Deep, BBC 2017
I’m in a cave. Each one of those tiny lights is produced by the larva of a small insect called a fungus gnat as a way of attracting its prey ... One of the most magical illuminations in the whole of the natural world. David Attenborough, Life in the Undergrowth III: The Silk Spinners, BBC 2015
The discovery of life that exists without drawing any of its energy from the sun shows us once again how complex and surprising the underground world can be. David Attenborough, Planet Earth e4: Caves, BBC 2004
It was at a hot volcanic vent around three kilometres down that Ballard discovered not just life but a thriving eco-system. Extreme Universe: Edge of Space, National Geographic 2010
They are called extremophiles: life-forms that thrive in some of the harshest and most hostile environments here on Earth. Jupiter’s Alien Moon
This underwater city is one of the most bizarre environments on our planet. It’s built around a hydro-thermal vent, a volcanic opening in the Earth’s crust that pumps out clouds of sulphurous chemicals and water heated to nearly three hundred Celsius. And somehow life has found a way to thrive in these extreme conditions. Brian Cox, Wonders of the Solar System: Aliens, BBC 2010
Down here, far from the light of the sun, are organisms whose energy source comes from the air around them. They use the hydrogen sulphide gas bubbling up through these springs. The same gas that could be fatally poisonous to me. ibid.
And the snotites are not alone. Organisms that can extract energy from the minerals around them are found under the ground all over the world. ibid.
Mono Lake is one of the most spectacular and wonderful places on Earth as far as astrobiologists are concerned. It has no fish; it’s about three times the salinity of seawater, and it has a high very PH like strong soap. And under these conditions only a few forms of life are able to exist. Richard B Hoover
We call them extremophiles because they live in what we consider to be extreme conditions. Richard B Hoover
The main reason that astrobiologists are interested in extremophiles is because most of the other bodies of the solar system are either very cold or very dry or very barren atmosphere. Richard B Hoover
A team with a radical new idea: to find ancient viruses that have been trapped in the Cave. Return to the Giant Crystal Cave, National Geographic 2008
In 2008 [Professor Penelope] Boston found bacteria trapped in inclusions – tiny air pockets that formed when the crystals were growing. She reanimated the bacteria and brought them back to life. ibid.
Deep in the jungle of south Vietnam there's a wonder of the world – a lost universe that hides a unique ecosystem. And a team of scientists and explorers with a mission – to discover what makes this the world's biggest cave. World's Biggest Cave, National Geographic 2015