Living Fossils of the Atacama Trench

Exploring an Ocean World | Living Fossils of the Atacama Trench | Video Update

ROV SuBastian / Schmidt Ocean Institute
Jun. 09 2024

Dr. Armando Azua-Bustos of the Centro de Astrobiologíca has studied the Atacama Desert for the last decade and led the #AtacamaTrenchAncients expedition to explore the deep waters adjacent to it. When we think of life in the Ocean, we imagine octopuses, whales, and other charismatic megafauna.

Still, in reality, the vast majority of life in the Ocean is microscopic — there are more microbes in the Earth’s Ocean than stars in the universe! Understanding how microbial life adapts in extreme environments offers clues to our origins and how life might adapt on distant ocean worlds such as Enceladus and Europa.

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