It all started with a tiny chunk of dirt. The sample of 30,000-year-old permafrost, a frozen layer of soil from the Siberian tundra, weighed just a fraction of an ounce. But, as TIME reported on Tuesday, that scrap was carrying within it a surprise worthy of a pulp comic book: a gargantuan virus, the largest known to science, and still, despite having been in suspended animation for millennia, quite deadly. Be grateful that it infects only amoebas, not humans.
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