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Scientists Head to Sea to Explore Subseafloor Life

Earth’s largest aquifer flows beneath the seafloor, through the rocky upper layer of ocean crust. Together with the sediment that rains down from the ocean above, this vast system is called the marine deep biosphere. It covers the entire seafloor – 70 percent of the planet’s surface. This extreme environment is home to unusual, slow-growing microbes that manage to survive using the limited energy resources available.