Scientists who are always on the lookout for some small sign that we are not alone in the universe have recently a couple of very small discoveries, that have them dreaming of big things. Biologists have found a new type of deep-sea anemone, at nearly the same time astronomers learned that stardust contains small pockets of water, two discoveries which suggest that extraterrestrial life in harsh conditions is very possible.
First, a research robot that is part of the National Science Foundation’s ANDRILL Antarctic drilling program, went on a routine mission down an 885-foot deep hole drilled into the Ross Ice Shelf and discovered a new species of anemone that lives off ice. And not just a new lifeform, but a whole new way of living:
SCINI [the robot] detected signs of the all-new ecosystem, one containing the opaque-white, ethereal anemones, now named Edwardsiella andrillae. They’re just 2.5-to-3 centimeters in size when contracted, and about four times longer when relaxed. Each of them have around 20-to-24 tentacles.
Researchers say they discovered tens of thousands of the anemones clinging to the ice.
Read more here http://www.thewire.com/national/2014/01/anemones-stardust-water-life/357217/