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October 13th, 2008

The Loneliest Microbe

Deep in an abandoned gold mine, where there is no air, exists a single bacteria that lives in its own ecosystem of one species. Living off of the sulphates of decayed uranium, this organism’s solitude ironically suggests that we are not alone in the universe.  If such an organism can thrive in such a hostile place, without oxygen or food as we understand it, then surely such critters can exist on other planets.

UPDATE: I contacted Professor Russell Ciochon, head of the Anthropology Dept. at the University of Iowa, and wanted me to clarify that Bigfoot and Gigantopithecus aren’t the same at all! You can read about his research, placing our ancestors Homo Erectus as neighbors alongside Gigantopithecus. I sure hope they got along…

Oct 13 UPDATE: Big thanks to Dr. Pingping Li and Dr. David Patsouris at U of C, San Diego, for reading my comic which their work helped inspire! Dr. Patsouris even caught an error in my dialogue, so I’ve fixed it up to make sure my science is true.

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