Is this the way life began?

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, March 02, 2015

Credit: David J. Eicher
Here’s an unusual mineral specimen: Scientists believe it is likely life originated some 4.3+ billion years ago at hydrothermal vents, so-called black smokers. This is pyrite from a black smoker, 5.3 cm, Meso Zone, 69°24' E, 22°39' S, from a depth of 3,300 m (~10,800 ft), Rodriguez Triple Junction, Central Indian Ridge, Indian Ocean. Pyrite is iron sulfide, and it might be that some of the earliest life were primitive sulfur-eating bacteria.

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