Rainbow-coloured hydrothermal systems show spectrum of extreme life on Earth

EARTH SCIENCE

The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Water at near-boiling temperatures bubbles up from underground, high salt concentrations create multi-coloured structures, and chlorine and sulphur vapour fogs the air. This month, researchers from the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure, carrying out the first investigation into the site’s geology, mineralogy and biology, have found that the Danakil Depression hosts at least three extreme ecosystems that have the potential to help us understand how life might arise on other planets and moons. …read more