The bizarre and ancient microbes were found dormant
in caves in Naica, Mexico.(Mike Spilde via AP)
An extraordinary population of microbes has been discovered trapped in crystal in a volcanically heated Mexican cave system where temperatures reach 60C (140F).
Some of them had been there for 60,000 years, shut off from light or oxygen and obtaining energy from minerals.
Attempts to classify the bugs showed that 90% could not be matched with any other micro-organisms catalogued in available databases.
They were also highly diverse, including around 100 different strains made up both of bacteria and other microbes known as archaea.
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