THE REAL SCIENCE BEHIND:
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
“I’ve been thinking about following the food source to see if we find our species in other places.”
“Where are you thinking?”
“I want to look deep.”
~An excerpt from Sleep of Reason
In 2013, scientists were stunned to find microbes thriving deep inside volcanic rocks beneath the seafloor off the Pacific Northwest, buried under more than 870 feet of sediment. The rocks were on the flank of the volcanic rift where they were born, and they were still young and hot enough to drive intense chemical reactions with the seawater, from which the microbes derived their energy.
Now, however, another team of researchers have discovered living cells inside exceedingly old, cold oceanic crust in the middle of the South Pacific. It isn’t yet clear how these new microbes are managing to survive—and yet, there seem to more than a million times more of them, for the same volume of rock, than in the younger crust.
Margaret Riley is a wordsmith, slow-kayaker, slow-skiier, photographer of strange realities, and a deep believer in the magic of story time.