The unimaginably arid conditions of South America's Atacama Desert have mad it the perfect scientific stand-in for Mars. So in a place that is quite literally almost alien, it makes sense we'd find microbes as strange as these.
For the last twenty million years, Chile's Atacama Desert has been the driest, most inhospitable place on Earth. But deep below the surface of this unimaginably arid world, microbes are flourishing without even oxygen or sunlight. Meet the extremest extremophiles.
Situated more than half a mile from the ocean, atop a hill in Chile's notoriously arid Atacama desert, an international team of scientists has made an incredible discovery. Over 80 extraordinarily well-preserved whale and marine mammal fossils, many of them positioned just meters apart from one another, have been…