Believe it or not, nearly a mile underground, life thrives. The Sanford Lab underground is teeming with microscopic life—more than 9,000 microorganisms live in rocks, soil, water and even wood. These organisms live in communities called biofilms inside the rock and water that accumulates underground.
Most organisms can’t live in such extreme conditions, yet communities of biofilms flourish in thermal pools at Yellowstone, polar ice caps, deep sea ocean vents and Sanford Lab. That’s why we call them extremophiles.
Scientists want to know more about how they survive. For example, what do they eat? How do they breathe? How do they live?