Heat-Loving Microbes Offer Clues to Life’s Origins

Over the past 20 years scientists have warmed up to the idea that the majority of life on our planet lives not on Earth’s surface but beneath its crust. The theory has spurred new ideas about life’s origins on Earth and where to look for life on other planets.

Earth’s crust gets warmer the closer it is to the molten iron-nickel believed to be at our planet’s core. One question that scientists who study life beneath Earth’s crust face is, at what temperature is it too hot for life to survive?