- The deepest part of our planet is the Mariana Trench, which stretches some seven miles down into the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
- This dark and deep world is home to many denizens that are a far cry from the cuddly marine life found closer to the surface. One such resident is a new group of bacteria that degrade hydrocarbons — molecules that are found in everyday crude oil and gas.
- A new study reveals that these hydrocarbon-eating bacteria are more abundant in the Challenger Deep (the deepest part of the Mariana Trench) than anywhere else on the planet.
- These oil-eating microbes could help clean-up the next major man-made oil spill on the ocean surface.