New Reservoir of Life Eats Oil

Nematode image

The results of a 10-year study

by Tim Clarey, PH.D

Secular geologists have long claimed that oil can survive millions of years underground because it somehow becomes pasteurized at 80 oC (176 oF), preventing further biodegradation. These geologists argue that oil can be preserved for millions of years because the subsurface temperatures are simply too hot for microbial activity. And once the oil is pasteurized (heated enough to destroy microorganisms) and the rocks are sterilized by high heat, it will all somehow remain pristine for eons of time.

However, a recent announcement detailing the results of a 10-year study involving 1,200 scientists from 52 countries has challenged that pasteurized notion. These scientists collected numerous samples from multiple wells drilled over 3.1 miles (16,400 feet) deep. They found vast quantities of deep life existing in the subsurface.

They estimated that this underground ecosystem takes up a volume greater than twice the size of all the world’s oceans and weighs hundreds of times more than the combined weight of every person on Earth.

Their results suggest that about 70% of the earth’s microbiota (bacteria and archaea) lives in the subsurface at temperatures of up to 250 oF—well above the boiling point of water at sea level…

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image credit: Gaetan Borgonie, Extreme Life, Isyensya