Meet The Strange Creatures That Live In Solid Rock Deep Underground

An unidentified nematode (Poikilolaimus sp.) from Kopang gold mine (1.4 km down). Credit Gaetan Borgonie et al/Nature Communications

In the dark, hot depths of several South African gold mines, there live some tiny worms that may hold the key to answering that question.

These creatures are the deepest living animals that have ever been discovered. No one knows how they got down there, but they could have been living in the mines for thousands of years. Their very existence suggests that complex life can survive far deeper in the Earth than was ever thought possible.



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