A Team of UK Scientists Discover Ancient Trapped Water
A UK-Canadian team of scientists has discovered ancient pockets of water, which have been isolated deep underground for billions of years and contain abundant chemicals known to support life. The findings, published in Nature, may force us to rethink which parts of our planet are fit for life, and could reveal clues about how microbes evolve in isolation.
Greg Holland, a geochemist at in England, and his colleagues wanted to know just how long that fluid had been trapped in the rock. So they looked at the decay of radioactive atoms found in the water and calculated that it had been bottled a long time — at least 1.5 billion years.
“That is the lower limit for the age,” Holland says. It could be a billion years older. That means the water was sealed in the rock before humans evolved, before pterosaurs flew, and before multicellular life.
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