The Lonely, Bold Traveler
Psalm 107:8: "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
Even life that exists where sunlight never reaches nevertheless gets its nutrients as a result of photosynthesis. Furthermore, no matter what the organism, it always lives in some sort of community with other organisms.
Now a bacteria has been discovered that breaks both of these rules. The organism, nicknamed "the bold traveler," was discovered living in water-filled cracks in a South African gold mine. It lives nearly two miles below the surface. And it shares its habitat with no other species. Since there's no other life down there, and they are totally cut off from the surface, scientists wondered how they managed to get energy to carry on life. Further study showed that the creatures are able to get energy directly from the radioactive decay of the uranium that is found in the rock into which the mine is cut. They are also able to extract carbon, which is essential to life, directly from carbon dioxide. They can also secure nitrogen, also essential for life, and which it extracts from surrounding rocks. Scientists also say that the creature cannot handle oxygen.
This discovery again illustrates the limitless creativity of God. We rejoice as we see that He is not limited to creating life that lives in what we call the "normal" way.
Prayer: Father, we rejoice and marvel at the wonders You have brought into being, the greatest of which is our salvation. Amen.
Notes: New Scientist, 10/9/08, Catherine Brahic, "Goldmine bug DNA may be key to alien life," http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14906-goldmine-bug-dna-may-be-key-to-alien-life.html
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