Origin & Evolution of Life

Shallow Water Origin of Life?

By Keith Cowing
June 27, 2008

Astrobiologists hypothesize that shallow water, not deep water, may have cradled the planet’s first life; that the dark, carbon-poor depths offered little energy to emerging life. But the newfound abundance of seafloor microbes makes it theoretically possible that early life thrived – and maybe even began – on the seafloor. “Some might even favor the deep ocean for the emergence of life since it was a bastion of stability compared with the surface, which was constantly being blasted by comets and other objects,” suggests study author and NAI member Katrina Edwards in the University of Southern California press release. For images and resources, see NSF’s press page. [Source: NAI Newsletter]

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