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This chapter to me was all about organisms that can survive in extreme conditions. How every square inch of earth is inhabited with creatures of one kind or another. I learnt the fundamental principle of biological geography, that wherever there is liquid water (h2o), organic molecules, and an energy source, there is life. I found out about the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, who soils are the coldest, driest, and most nutritionally deficient in the world. How some specialized species of bacteria and archaeans live in the walls of volcanic hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, where they can multiply in water close to or above the boiling point. He also describes an organism called, hyperthermophiles, that love extreme heat, and Deinococcus radiodurans, a microorganism which can withstand levels of radiation capable of killing humans and other organisms.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica seems from its description sterile and desolate. When I read the quote from Robert F. Scott in 1903, the first to explore the region, “ We have seen no living thing, not even a moss or lich…