Ancient Microbes Found Hidden in Crystals

Microbes survived inside giant cave crystals for up to 50,000 years


February 18, 2017


Microbes have been found inside giant crystals in caves in Chihuahua, Mexico. These microbes could have survived there for tens of thousands of years undisturbed. They are not like any other genus known currently and after genetic testing from microbial communities in the caves researchers do not think that the crystals were contaminated by other microbes since the crystal’s formation, confirming the age estimates for the microbes.


This goes hand in hand with the extremophile unit. These microbes survived for thousands of years without any contact with the outside world. The microbes could have also made spores since it is unknown if they were dormant for the entirety of thier time in the crystal or for a portion. Whatever the case researchers were able to wake the microbes up and study them in lab.

Critical Analysis:

I found it intersting when the article was talking about astrobiology becasue before this class I had no idea that was a field. Now that I know about it I can see the need in such a field. I also think that it is interesing how these microbes are like no other on Earth and this could help us find life on other planets.


How will NASA insure that no Earth microbes will make it to other worlds where they are studying life?

1 Comment for “Ancient Microbes Found Hidden in Crystals”



You question is really interesting and so complex. There is almost no way to prevent microbes from traveling into space on spacecrafts. Would microbes be able to survive or perhaps even thrive wherever they may land? What would that mean for the search of life in other places in the universe? I am filled with many more questions. Your question is very thought provoking.