Creatures Surviving Off Methane In An Underwater World!

It may seem impossible, but deep in the subterranean rivers of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula creatures seem to be thriving by eating up methane! But isn’t Methane poisonous?

Well actually contrary to popular belief methane is relatively nontoxic, but it does explode. Methane has extreme reactions when mixed with halogen or oxidizers, it is the number one culprit when you look into mining disasters. But the real miracle of the matter is that Methane is an asphyxiant, which means it forces oxygen out of the area. That means these creatures have somehow found a way to survive with relatively no oxygen at all!

gue.com

The Ox Bel Hel cave is in folklore the path to the mysterious Mayan underworld, the Mayan culture believed that through these underwater caves you could make your way into the underworld. However, it is also unique for scientific reasons it has two layers of water. Freshwater on the top from the rain that falls into holes and then salty sea water that comes up from the ocean. Well for the first time researchers have been able to study the caves with new techniques such as using deep sea diving machinery.

And they discovered a fascinating reality, here in the depths of these underwater caves methane that was trapped under the jungle floor was not traveling up towards the atmosphere as it normally does. It was being pushed downwards into the water where it was promptly gobbled up by hungry bacteria and other microorganisms – maybe they are just scared it will explode? Well, this bacteria and microbes were the fuel for the whole ecosystem of the underwater caves, shrimp, for example, will then feed off them. Therefore you find an ecosystem where their nutrition is entirely dependant on methane which unheard of anywhere else in the world.

Scientists and researchers alike believe this finding is an important discovery in understanding how species adapt to living in oxygen-depleted zones and surviving in areas that have no visible evidence of food. With this information, they should be able to gain an even better understanding of how creatures live at very deep sea levels or other cave systems.

Next Article
  • Blue Java Bananas That Taste Just Like Vanilla Ice Cream

    When it comes to mother nature there is no barrier on it providing us with tasty delicious dessert flavored fruits, you don’t need to buy a tub of Ben and Jerry's every night. There is one banana that taste just like ice cream, in fact, it is nicknamed the ice cream banana. [caption id="attachment_4900" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More
  • George Washington And The Huge $15,000 Bar Tab

    If you think some of the modern day politicians commit indiscretions and fraudulent expense claims, well you may be surprised to hear some of the historical heroes were the same. In fact, it was well known that George Washington loved his whiskey. In the late 18th century, Washington was actually...

    Read More
  • The Deadliest Blizzard Known To Man

    During a terrible winter in 1972, on February 2nd, Iran was hit by an extreme blizzard. It was so bad that it lasted for a whole week and ended up wiping whole villages off the map. Reports from the The New York Times estimated that the blizzard dumped over 15 feet of snow in areas...

    Read More
  • America’s First Bank Robber Did Not Have The Greatest Idea

    Picture Philadelphia in 1798, yellow fever was ravaging the state and many people simply abandoned the city though some were forced to stay. In a matter of weeks, over a thousand people would perish from the deadly illness. Patrick Lyon, a blacksmith, was able to escape the turmoil and make...

    Read More
  • Toilet Liners Do Not Help Your Hygiene

    If you are worried when going into a public toilet, only to be reassured by a toilet liner, well you should continue to be worried. A newly published report suggests that toilet liners offer you relatively no protection at all. Because when it comes to hygiene the greatest bacteria risks just happen to fly in...

    Read More