Skip to comments.Giant one-celled organisms discovered over six miles below the ocean's surface
Posted on 11/05/2011 2:55:33 PM PDT by neverdem
Imagine a one-celled organism the size of a mango. It's not science fiction, but fact: scientists have cataloged dozens of giant one-celled creatures, around 4 inches (10 centimeters), in the deep abysses of the world's oceans. But recent exploration of the Mariana Trench has uncovered the deepest record yet of the one-celled behemoths, known as xenophyophores.
Found at 6.6 miles beneath the ocean's surface, the xenophyophores beats the previous record by nearly two miles. The Mariana Trench xenophyophores were discovered by dropcams, developed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and National Geographic, which are unmanned HD cameras 'dropped' into the deep ocean to record life at the bottom.
Xenophyophore in the Galapagos Rift. Photo by: NOAA.
Previous research has shown that xenophyophores are host to a number of multicellular organisms, meaning that the Mariana Trench could be teeming with life.
"The identification of these gigantic cells in one of the deepest marine environments on the planet opens up a whole new habitat for further study of biodiversity, biotechnological potential and extreme environment adaptation," says Doug Bartlett, the Scripps marine microbiologist who organized the Mariana Trench expedition, in a press release.
Xenophyophores are the largest known single cells, and have been found in great abundance on the sea floor. But given their fragility and deep-water lives, they are incredibly difficult to study and much of their natural history remains mysterious to scientists.
Close-ups of xenophyophores obtained on previous expeditions. Photo credit: Lisa Levin (all except upper right, credit David Checkley)
Assuming that this is a serious question, a mango is a tropical fruit about the size of a human fist. That means that these single cell organisms are huge, as one normally thinks of single cell organisms as being, literally, microscoopic, i.e. only visible in a microscope.
“...a mango is a tropical fruit about the size of a human fist...”
I know, just my flippant comment and point being that,
a more logical comparison would have been to the size of a fist.
Why, of all things, would someone compare something to the size of a mango?
Certainly not the first thing that would come to most folk’s mind.
Translation: another way ecofascists can lock-up areas from mineral exploration
It was blogging on singlecellmatch.com 8*)
Wanna see my nucleus?
Yep. Tastes like chicken... only different.
They probably don't feel a thing since the pressure inside of them is also 15,750 psi or 2,268,000# / Sq Ft.
I believe the actual term (similar to a "pride of lions") would be an argument of lawyers.
I would have preferred an infernum or a slime but it wasn't my call...
Inside the cell wall probably just a touch higher.
It's like downtown Fargo ND after 11:00 PM on Saturday night...