Bubble Fish




The loneliest living species known to science was found inside a gold mine.

Desulforudis audaxviator, or bold traveller as it is known in English, relies on water, hydrogen and sulphate for its energy.

The rod-shaped bacterium was found 2.8km (1.74 miles) beneath the surface of the Earth in the Mponeng mine near Johannesburg, living in complete isolation, total darkness and 60C (140F) heat.

It was identified in DNA extracted from water-filled cracks in the mine.

The bug's name is partially based on a sentence in Latin from Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth: "Descende, Audax viator, et terrestre centrum attinges", which translates as "Descend, Bold Traveller, and attain the centre of the Earth".

(Story from BBC NEWS Oct 10, 2008.  Image made from a fractal and a bunch of filters.)

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