THIERRY BERROD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THIERRY BERROD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Snottite bacteria, light microscopy footage. These extremophilic bacteria metabolise sulphur compounds for energy, producing very acidic byproducts and stalactite-like formations called snottites. The snottites are made from biofilms of extremophilic bacteria and have a mucus-like consistency. This sample is from the Cueva de Villa Luz (Cave of the Lighted House) in southern Mexico. The waters in the cave are rich in the poisonous gas hydrogen sulphide. The hydrogen sulphide also forms the basis of a chemical food chain and ecosystem, rather than one based on sunlight.
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