Hottest Life Form Found: Microbe Thrives When Boiling

Some can take the heat better than others. Scientists have discovered a deep-sea microbe that continues to grow and reproduce inside a high-pressure oven heated to 121 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit). Now they’re wondering just how much heat the hardiest life-forms can take.

The microbe, known unofficially as Strain 121, is found where most such heat-loving microbes are found–several miles beneath the ocean surface, snuggled up in the walls of hydrothermal vents that spew mineral-enriched, scalding water.