Micro-Sirens of Titan

Pitch Lake is a poisonous, foul smelling, hell hole on the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. The lake is filled with hot asphalt and bubbling with noxious hydrocarbon gases and carbon dioxide. Water is scarce here and certainly below the levels normally thought of as a threshold for life.

In other words, very likely to be very like Saturn’s moon, Titan.

Dirk Schulze-Makuch from Washington State University and a few buddies provide an answer. Pitch lake, they say, is teaming with microbial life. They say that, on average, each gram of goo in the lake contains some 10^7 living cells.

These bugs are unlike anything we normally see on Earth. Analysis of gene sequences from these creatures show that they are single celled organisms such as archea and bacteria.

Microbial Life Found in Hydrocarbon Lake – Technology Review

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