11 Oct '11, 2pm

Turns out there's fresh water - and life - in the Dead Sea after all:

The planet is kind of amazing sometimes. Researchers have discovered plumes of fresh water at the bottom of the Dead Sea, deeper than any previous plumes that had been found. And around the plumes: life. Even though most microbes that live in salt die in fresh water and vice versa, some tough little buggers are hanging on in a space where salinity shifts constantly. The top of the springs’ rocks are covered with green biofilms, which use both sunlight and sulfide -- naturally occurring chemicals from the springs -- to survive. Exclusively sulfide-eating bacteria coat the bottoms of the rocks in a white biofilm. You can see some of the biofilms on a rock at the end of the YouTube clip above -- a researcher scrapes some into a tube around 2:06, then there's a closeup of the rock. It looks like just a rock with some gunge on it, but trust: it is cool science. Watch out for th...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-10-11-the-dead-sea-may-not...

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