Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Michigan's mysterious microbes

Ancient bacteria are lurking in sinkholes off Alpena. In these anoxic patches of Lake Huron cyanobacteria thrive and from thick mats. The conditions in the sinkholes are similar to earth 2.8 billion years ago, before oxygenic photosynthesis polluted the globe. Scientists (from NOAA and GVSU) have only been exploring the sinkholes for about 10 years. Some of the footage in the video looks amazingly alien. You can read more about the sinkholes and the research on Bopi Biddanda's Lab website.

Hat tip L^3


  1. Via
    The video highlights selected imagery from our research on the submerged sinkholes of Lake Huron. Due to the unique karst geology of the Alpena, Michigan area, cracks and sinkhole have formed on the Lake Huron floor which are venting groundwater. Here, flowing groundwater containing high sulfates and low oxygen forms a distinct layer along the lake floor that fuels the growth of microbial mats.

  2. Fascinating. Totally unexpected. Thanks for posting.