Oil consuming bacteria found at sea bottom

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.