In the deepest part of the ocean, where the pressure is akin to 50 jumbo jets piled on top of you, life clusters around sulfur vents along the ocean floor and thrives. The discovery of these organisms in 2005 shocked the scientific community. It was hypothesized that organisms would not be able to survive such an extreme environment. Fittingly, scientists coined these organisms that live in these hazardous environments extremophiles.
Extremophiles are not just found in the bottom of the ocean, they are also located in hot springs where the temperature would cook and boil human flesh. The fact that life has seemingly found a way to live in hostile environments starts to erode the theory of the “goldilocks zone” where life needs stable liquid water in order to survive.
Extremophiles have great implications for the search for life on other planets and throughout the universe. Instead of limiting our search to planets just within the “goldilocks zone”, we can now expand our search and understanding of what life and nature mean.