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The Undersea Hunt for Intraterrestrial Life

Despite the impact of mankind, the size of trees, and the sheer numbers of bugs, multicellular terrestrial life only makes up a small portion of the planet's biomass. The majority of life on Earth lives at the bottom of the ocean, much of it beneath the ocean floor.

Thanks to those extreme depths, science knows virtually nothing about the majority of the planet's lifeforms. But a series of deep sea drilling expeditions over the course of the next year looks to finally shine a light on our planet's richest, and most mysterious, habitats.

In 2010, the JOIDES Resolution, a deep sea drilling vessel operated by the international research consortium Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, will make three trips to various ocean ridges in search of never before discovered forms of life. The JOIDES Resolution will collect microbe-rich samples from deep below the surface, and flush dyed liquid through undersea aquifers to reveal how the deep ocean flows.
 
 

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