Right now there is every evidence that the Earth is in the midst of a sixth major extinction. Whether it is charismatic megafauna like polar bears or orangutan or less known amphibians like the axolotl…important animals are vanishing. And then there is the problem of invasive species – lion fish in the Caribbean or green lip mussels on the west coast of the US sucking up all the nutrients in the water, or Asian Carp in the Great Lakes or the Tree of Heaven in East Coast cities or algae where it isn’t wanted in waterways around the world. Corals are dying in corners of the ocean where there are virtually no fish.
And yet the Earth is very much alive. Check the cracks in the sidewalks near you and find insects and weeds right there.
Researchers from the Deep Carbon Observatory have recently found out that the Earth is much more alive than we ever thought in ways maybe no person has ever known until just a few years ago.
Below the crust of the earth – despite extreme heat and pressure, no light, and barely anything that we would recognize as nutrition – scientists have found a huge biosphere that has a combined mass of between 15 and 23 billion tons of microorganisms. This is hundreds of times more mass than every human being who has ever lived.
These scientists are comparing this biodiversity discovery to finding a new Amazon. But this biosphere is miles below the sea floor and through the crust of the earth. Not easy to get to until new drills recently came along. We think of life as related to time scales that we can witness – diurnal shifts of the sun and moon, or annually. But some of these microorganisms have lived for thousandsof years only moving in response to tectonic plates shifting.
The scientists don’t yet understand how the life on the surface of the earth is related to this new life discovered in either a genetic sense or if the life from the depths slowly colonizes upwards (or downwards). Have we communicated chemically? Genetically? In other ways?
Regardless of what is figured out all of life literally is supported by this life. These creatures, completely unseen to us, are interspersed with the material that supports the ground we stand on and rely on.
The unseen life is what allows us to live and to go on. Without us ever knowing anything about it, such is the grace we receive. This pullulating earth simply boiling with life for the sake of simply doing the work of life…lifing, if you will.
In the same way that this research of the Deep Carbon Observatory can show us signs of something so profound and marvelous that isn’t on the end of a telescope light-years away, that there is a kind of life that allows you to be here I’d pray that Primal Derma is also a reminder of this. That there is a life that we are largely veiled non-human life to that allows us to go on.
Thanks so much for your support of this little wonder of a venture and thinking bigger thoughts with us here.
Thanks so much for your ongoing support.