Scientists have discovered a unique oil eating
bacteria in the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the Earth’s oceans. The
Mariana Trench is located in the Western Pacific Ocean. It reaches a depth of
approximately 11,000 metres.
The expedition to Mariana Trench was organised
and led by marine explorer and noted film director James Cameron. He had built
a specialised submersible to collect samples in the trench. The new study has
been published in the journal Microbiome.
A new group of hydrocarbon degrading bacteria
were identified from the samples collected from Mariana Trench. The scientists
have come to the conclusion that these bacteria essentially eat compounds
similar to those in oil and then use it for fuel.
Previously similar kinds of bacteria have y been
found and had been even used to help deal with oil spills, such as that from
the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. However, the latest study has revealed
that the Mariana Trench is home to the greatest concentration of these bacteria
anywhere in the world.