Underground Life Below Earth? USC Researcher Jan Amend Digs For It

Are there creatures underground we don't know about?

If you remember the 1990 film Tremors, starring one Kevin Bacon, then you know they exist, and they're out to get us, at least on-screen.

Now USC professor Jan Amend and his team have set out to prove or disprove the existence of "subsurface" life forms (hopefully forms without teeth and fangs):

Amend and company will join the NASA Astrobiology Institute. NASA? Yes, but this project is more about inner-space. According to USC the research could help with future inquiries into subsurface life on Mars and elsewhere in space.

As part of the deal the USC group was just awarded $6 million to "to investigate microorganisms that live in Earth's subsurface biosphere, the habitable area below the planet's surface," according to USC.


We don't know what organisms are living in the subsurface, how far down the biosphere extends or how active the community is that's down there. At this point our research is very exploratory.

They'll be working in mines and boreholes in the United States as well as at locations in the mid-Atlantic, says USC.

So far the researchers are only expecting microorganisms and not the head-chompers seen in science-fiction movies.

Beware. Just in case.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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