Endoliths General Collection

This collection of online resources such as news articles, web sites, and reference pages provides a comprehensive array of information about endoliths.

  • 20,000 Microbes Under the Sea . This website contains the introduction to a Discover Magazine article about bacteria found living under the floor of the Black Sea. The sea floor core, taken in 2001, contained a cubic meter of bacteria. The full article is available to Discover Magazine Subscribers or may be purchased online. ( This site is likely no longer available. )
  • Bugs from Hell. This NASA Astrobiology Institute article provides information about life found approximately 2 miles beneath the Earth's surface. These rock-dwelling "endoliths" are thought to feed on gases escaping through fractures in deep rock. The article features color photographs as well as hyperlinks to related sites. (more info)
  • Deep Life in the Slow, Slow Lane. This Science Magazine article provides an overview of microorganisms able to survive deep beneath the Earth's surface. These organisms live on and within rock, slowly eating away at the rock as a source of energy. The article features color photographs of core collection, processing, and microorganisms. (more info)
  • Endoliths. This Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, and Space Flight article describes endoliths, organisms that live inside rocks. Key vocabulary within the article is hyperlinked to similar descriptive pages describing the hyperlinked term. (more info)
  • Glass Munchers Under the Sea. This NASA Astrobiology Institute article documents recent findings of bacterial life beneath the sea floor. These newly discovered bacteria are thought to live as far down as 500 meters beneath the sea floor and eat through volcanic rock, leaving behind burrows. The article contains hyperlinks to websites explaining some key vocabulary, related websites, and color photos and maps. (more info)
  • Is Life Thriving Deep Beneath the Seafloor?. This Oceanus article presents information regarding microbial life beneath the sea floor. These newly discovered organisms push the limits of our understanding about the extreme conditions life can survive and even thrive in. The article provides information pertaining to the sea floor bacteria, their habitat, and other extremophiles. It features links to related articles, color photographs and images of deep sea exploration vessels, the sea floor, microbes, and flash diagrams of how microbes exist in these environments. (more info)
  • Methane deep in ocean crust could feed chemical-hungry microorganisms. This University of Washington news article details the work of oceanographer Deborah Kelley regarding microorganisms found in "layer 3" of the ocean crust. These microbes live deep beneath the sea floor and are thought to survive on methane gas trapped in fractures in the crust. (more info)
  • Microbiological Garden . The Microbiological Garden features specialized collections with images and informative paragraphs covering microbial-based topics including: foyer... (more info)
  • Princeton' s Geomicrobiology Web. (more info)
  • Research Finds Life 1,000 Feet Beneath Ocean Floor. This Oregon State University news article provides a brief overview of the discovery of microbes in a spreading ridge off the Oregon coast. The microbes were found in fractured basalts 1000 meters below the ocean floor and may hold evidence regarding what microorganisms exist within the Earth�s crust. (more info)
  • The microbes that 'rule the world'. This BBC News article provides general information on microorganisms that have been found 4 miles beneath the sea floor. These organisms are thought to influence climate and global chemical cycles such as the carbon cycle. The article features photographs of the "worm tracks" thought to be made by these deep rock microorganisms. (more info)
  • The secrets of deep intra-terrestrial microbes. This Deep Biosphere Laboratory website presents an image-rich introductory overview of life in the deep biosphere. It addresses: what is a microbe, how deep do they live, how do deep rock microbes survive, and connections between these microbes and the origins of life. (more info)
  • Two Miles Underground. This Princeton Weekly Bulletin article summarizes the work of Duane Moser and Tullis Onstott from Princeton University. They are studying microbial life in the East Driefontein Gold Mine in South Africa. These microbes grow in the hot, dark, and anoxic environment deep beneath the Earth's surface, surviving on water, gases, and rock. (more info)

Other Endolith Collections

Advanced Collection: Compiled for professionals and advanced learners, this endolith collection includes online resources such as journal articles, academic reviews, and surveys.

For Educators: This endolith collection includes activities, assignments, and reading materials created specifically for educators.

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Additional Resources

For additional resources about endoliths, search the Microbial Life collection.