There is only one known planet in the Cosmos on which life is present - Earth. All of them - from bacteria to whales, move, breathe, move, reproduce ...
There are 5 million species on the planet alone, and the total mass of all living and plant forms is 2.4 teratons. As a result, if all this is evenly distributed over the surface, then even then it will be cramped. It is no coincidence that single and multicellular creatures have learned to survive in any conditions.
Scientists periodically make discoveries that they themselves are surprised at. So, recently a bacterium was discovered that feeds on arsenic! But this element is considered, in principle, poisonous for living beings. And after this, how to talk about the End of the World?
Now, if all the inhospitable corners of the Earth could be collected into a single reserve that would be open for tourists to visit ... Then, according to the results of the excursion, our garbage dump will seem like a real paradise, and the toilet is fragrant with a meadow, where the smells of grass are interspersed with the freshness of a stream.
Life in liquid asphalt. The Caribbean island of Trinidad has the world's largest lake of hot soda tar. Its area is equal to the area of the entire Vatican. The lake is clearly of volcanic origin, and heating comes here from the bottom of the ocean. Outwardly colorful locals pick up simple tools and extract free building material from Lake Peach. True, this amount of asphalt did not give Trinidad and Tobago the best roads in the world. But scientists in the hot lake are constantly looking for something, as soon as it was discovered in 1595. The fact is that they are attracted here by extremophile bacteria. There are 10 million of them in each gram of boiling asphalt. They live in environments with temperatures around 50 degrees Celsius. At the same time, there is practically no free water in the viscous mass, which is the basis of life. The bacteria have to produce it on their own. They do not breathe oxygen, being content with hydrocarbons and metals instead. Not so long ago, similar boiling dense bodies of water were discovered on Titan. This satellite of Saturn is considered suitable for the existence of primitive organic life. Only there the hot core heats up not black tar, but whole seas of liquid hydrocarbons. It remains only to find inside them single-celled alien life.
Life in radioactive waters. What could be worse than ionizing radiation, which breaks down living flesh into free radicals? A dose of 10 gray can kill a person, but the bacteria Deinococcus Radiodurans is not scary. Irradiation of 5000 gray will not harm it either. By increasing the dose threefold, this creature will not be able to take its life. This feature of the microbe even led to its entry into the Guinness Book of Records. His secret to survive is constantly making a copy of his own DNA. Radio beams kill one genome, while the other is already turned on. This allows some deinococcus cells to live almost forever. If only there was enough radioactive waste for food.
Life in boiling water. A temperature of 121 degrees Celsius is used to sterilize canned fish and meat. Only such boiling water can kill the causative agent of botulism. At a depth of 5000 meters in the Caribbean Sea, hydrothermal springs are gushing from the bottom in pitch darkness. These fountains of boiling water are the deepest in the world. It is worth getting here for a man, fish or crab - they will cook in the blink of an eye. But boiling water does not care for beautiful polychaetal worms. They live here in safety, and hide long bodies in chitinous shells. These worms have neither intestines nor even a mouth. Extreme polychaetes receive their vital energy as a result of synthesis, in the course of processing hydrogen sulfide. These thermophilic creatures live for a long time, scientists have even met 250-year-old individuals.
Life after sterilization. Many are wondering if our Earth can infect another planet or satellite with its microorganisms. Scientists say yes. When preparing for a flight into space, specialists sterilize everything that is possible - instruments, instruments and even the air inside the ship. What if terrestrial bacteria get to Mars, and mankind decides that it has found life there? Therefore, all the parts of the probes undergo severe sanitization using plasma and radiation. After that, the devices are stored in perfectly clean rooms. But even after all this, microbes are still found on them. Such bacteria simply despise death. They need very little food to exist, so they calmly relate to absolute purity. It turned out that there are as many as 193 species of such unpretentious bacteria, and all these are potential space "hares". Scientists now know who to ignore when studying the soil of distant planets under study.
Life in the Dead Sea. Few people can survive in such a salty brine. That is why the lake got its name. But a vacationer lying on the surface of the Dead Sea and reading a newspaper does not even suspect that halophilic microbes thrive in the water. These creatures are very resilient. They are not afraid not only of the concentrated salt solution, but even the vacuum and ultra-low cosmic temperatures. If organic life ever existed on Mars, then such microorganisms could well be preserved in a conserved form. Such a time bomb could evolve into something strange and unpleasant for us.
Living in a Martian environment. The dry valleys of Antarctica are called the "Martian Garden" or simply hell. People are waiting for severe trials there, where romance has no place. These are the most real deserts, because there has been no rain or snow for 2 million years. The wind here rushes at a speed of 300 km / h, and the air temperature is minus 20 degrees Celsius. When scientists took soil samples in this inhospitable place in April 2009, to their surprise, "time capsules" were found there. These microorganisms entered the dry valleys with the last rain in their memory. Here they live without freezing and not being afraid of frost. These bacteria do not need oxygen or light. It is not clear what their life is based on - on the mummies of ancient animals or on the belief in their own uniqueness?
Life in the thick of ice. Bacteria can live in different conditions. And Antarctica does not frighten them at all. Microorganisms even move through this snowy world in the thickness of forever frozen water as part of icebergs and glaciers. The bacteria are sleeping in the oldest ice on the planet, probably expecting global warming. When scientists thawed them in the laboratory, Antarctic microbes showed an exemplary passion for life. DNA, which had been unused for more than a million years, began to work as if nothing had happened. Perhaps due to the fact that the genome of ancient bacteria is much shorter than that of our contemporaries. There are only 210 pairs of nucleotides against 3 million.
Life in poisonous mud. In order to achieve their own place not even under the Sun, but far from it, some multicellular organisms refuse oxygen! A striking example of this is the loricifera spinoloricus, whose length is only 150 microns. Its cells include hydrogenosomes, just like mushrooms. As a result, oxygen is not only unnecessary for this creature, but even harmful. Cunning organisms live in an airless space filled with salty silt in the deepest part of the Mediterranean. There is so much hydrogen sulphide here that it is enough to poison a good half of the sea. Who knows what would happen if open anaerobic creatures had billions of years to evolve? Perhaps then on the planet there would be a race of intelligent beings that do not need oxygen at all.
Life deep underground. Humanity is constantly striving for various purposes to the bowels of the Earth. One of the deepest man-made holes on the planet is located near Johannesburg. The depth of the Mponeng gold mine is 3777 meters. But even at the very bottom, at a temperature of 60 degrees, hermit bacteria live. The source of their existence is a nuclear reaction. The ore gives a radioactive cure that helps the water molecules break down. When atomic hydrogen is reduced, energy is released that gives life to microbes. The bacteria have tails with which they float through the moisture filling cracks in the rock.
Living in a cosmic void. The tardigrade is one of the most interesting creatures on Earth. It is microscopically small and has eight legs. The tardigrade is like a bear sluggish, unpretentious, modest, but very persistent. If this bacterium is sent into outer space, then it immediately goes into hibernation, turning into something dried up. Experiments have shown that tardigrades can spend up to 10 days in a vacuum under severe ultraviolet irradiation, and then revive and even give birth to offspring. These creatures have many unique characteristics. They can survive in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide, spend up to 10 hours boiling and be frozen for 8 hours in liquid helium.