This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
The earth is a beautiful planet of life. In addition to intelligent life, there are millions of creatures. Life can be said to be the most mysterious and complex thing since the big bang. No one knows how the life in the universe originated.
Although human beings have entered the era of science and technology and started the exploration and research of life, our understanding of life is still limited to the superficial. Not to mention the possible existence of extraterrestrial life in the universe, even life on earth, there are many mysteries waiting for us to solve.
Life is derived from nonliving matter, so how does nonliving matter evolve into life? This is something that the scientific community has been trying to figure out. However, the mystery about the origin and evolution of life will take a longer time to solve.
Before that, we need to uncover all the mysteries of life on earth. I believe many friends know that life needs a more suitable environment to survive. In the view of many people, life is unlikely to exist outside the harsh environment with high temperature and poisonous gas. However, in the process of actual exploration and research, scientists have found many tenacious life, such as water bear, which is a kind of tiny life that can survive in many harsh environments. Even in the space environment, water bear can survive for a period of time.
So is the water bear the most tenacious life on earth? Of course not. For life, high temperature is often very difficult to bear. Every kind of life has very strict requirements for environmental temperature. For example, the temperature of human body is about 37 ℃. If the environment around us is much higher than 37 ℃, the survival of human beings will face a severe test, and it is basically difficult to survive.
It’s the same with other animals. 99% of them can’t survive in the extreme high temperature environment. Is there a tenacious life in this world that regards high temperature environment as living environment? At first, scientists didn’t think this kind of life would exist, but a discovery later changed their view.
If you want to ask where is the warmer part of the earth? I believe many friends will think of volcanic eruption. The red liquid that erupts from the crater is underground magma, with temperatures between 900 and 1200 degrees centigrade, and even 1400 degrees centigrade at its highest.
Such a high temperature can melt the steel, and the weak body of life will naturally die out. Where the volcano erupts, geological activities are relatively active, and the temperature near the volcanic magma is naturally very high, which can reach hundreds of degrees Celsius. At the temperature of hundreds of degrees centigrade, human beings can’t survive, and other creatures can’t survive here.
So is there life active near the volcanic magma? The answer is yes. First of all, the water bear, which is invisible to the naked eye, can survive in the high temperature environment near the volcano. Of course, it is not the most heat-resistant creature. The one that can roam freely in such a “steel furnace” is actually Pompeii worm, which is known as the most heat-resistant creature on earth.
Pompeii worm is a kind of fluffy mollusk, about 6-8 cm in length, it can withstand the highest temperature up to 81 degrees centigrade, is known on the earth the most heat-resistant, the most temperature resistant organisms. Pompeii worms live on the bottom of the East Pacific Ocean, where there is a long crustal activity zone, which is very hot water.
Scientists have measured the temperature of the water near the Pompeii worm and found that it is as high as 105 degrees Celsius. Pompeii worm can survive in such a high temperature environment, which shows that it has very special internal physical factors. Through the study of Pompeii worms, scientists found that their highest internal temperature reached 81 degrees Celsius, while the human body only 37 degrees Celsius.
Scientists once thought that the membrane structure of cells in organisms, such as nucleus and mitochondria, can hardly withstand the sudden change of external temperature, and the critical point of high temperature tolerance is 55 ℃. But the discovery of Pompeii worm completely broke this conclusion. This kind of creature not only can withstand the high temperature of Baidu, but also has a very strong anti-virus ability.
Scientists found sulfide, lead, cadmium, zinc, copper and other heavy metals in the waters where Pompeii worms live. These heavy metals can produce very strong toxicity outside the high temperature environment. If it was other organisms, they would have died long ago, but Pompeii worms have nothing to do and live at ease.
The discovery of Pompeii worm gives scientists a new understanding of life. The tenacity of biological vitality and the ability to adapt to the environment are far beyond our imagination. Where we think there is no life, we often find some special tenacious life.
This kind of cognition is helpful to our exploration and discovery of extraterrestrial life. We should know that after human beings go out of the earth, what we expect most is to find extraterrestrial life, proving that the earth and human beings are not alone. However, we haven’t found anything after more than half a century of continuous exploration.
In the past, when scientists searched for extraterrestrial life, they would take the initiative to exclude planets with very bad environment, such as mercury, Mars and Io. In the view of scientists, these three planets can be called purgatory planets. The surface temperature is getting hotter and hotter one by one, and they are accompanied by various poisonous gases. In the view of scientists, life can’t survive in such a bad environment.
But the discovery of Pompeii worm has broken the past impossibility. It tells us that life has strong resistance to high temperature and toxicity. Some life can survive in such a double bad environment, then mercury, Venus and even IO, there may be high-temperature, drug-resistant life.
Of course, to explore these purgatory planets, we can’t do it with current human technology. The discovery of Pompeii worm not only gives us a new direction to search for extraterrestrial life, but also contributes to the development of human potential. We all know that although human beings are the only intelligent life on the earth and the overlord of the earth, the physical quality of human beings is actually very weak in the biological world.
With the weak human body, many bacteria and viruses on the earth can threaten us, not to mention the radiation, microgravity and other effects in the cosmic environment. If the physical quality of human beings can not be effectively improved, then the future interstellar road of human beings will be very difficult. Especially in the future, we will colonize other planets, and the environment of different planets will be different from that of the earth.
Only when human beings have strong physical quality, the future interstellar road can be smoothly carried out. In order to improve the physical quality of human beings, we need to use genetic technology to implant other biological genes with strong vitality into human genes. For example, after we have cracked the secret of Pompeii worm’s resistance to high temperature and toxicity, it can be applied to human beings, so that we can have this powerful ability.
By concentrating the strong advantages of other creatures on the human body, human beings can surpass other creatures in physical quality and better survive in the cosmic environment. So that human beings can become the real interstellar civilization, go to the interstellar Road, and become the overlord of the universe step by step.