It’s not just moles and earthworms living underground. Whole ecosystems of bacteria live deep underground and we’ve barely begun to study them. Some live so far removed from solar-based ecosystems that they get their energy from radioactive minerals.
“We didn’t expect to find this incredible microbial diversity. But then again, we know little about the roles of subsurface microbes in biogeochemical processes, and more broadly, we don’t really know what’s down there,” says Jill Banfield,