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Mon May 30, 2022, 06:25 PM

This 830-million-year-old crystal might contain life. And we're about to open it. [View all]



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NPR
@NPR
830-million-year-old salt crystals originally found in central Australia might be the inhabits for microorganisms. A research team is ready to open the crystals and find out what is inside.

npr.org
This 830-million-year-old crystal might contain life. And we're about to open it
A recent study in the journal Geology finds microorganisms trapped in an 830-million-year-old salt crystal. The researchers say it might still be alive.
10:10 PM May 24, 2022


https://www.npr.org/2022/05/24/1100972368/830-million-year-old-salt-crystal-microscopic-life-study-discovery

From lemons to ham, salt is a handy food preservative. But researchers studying some really old salt crystals found them preserving something else evidence of life.

"There are little cubes of the original liquid from which that salt grew. And the surprise for us is that we also saw shapes that are consistent with what we would expect from microorganisms," said Kathy Benison, a geologist at West Virginia University. "And they could be still surviving within that 830-million-year-old preserved microhabitat."

The salt crystals (aka halite) that Benison and her team studied were originally found in central Australia. Benison was part of the team that published these findings in the journal Geology.

This video of a different salt crystal shows how the liquid looks when moving inside.





*snip*

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