Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

How low can life go?

Microbes thrive more than a kilometre beneath the sea floor.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Roussel, E. G. et al. Science 320, 1046 (2008).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Wellsbury, P., Mather, I. & Parkes, R. J. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 42, 59–70 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Insight: Bio-oceanography

Related external links

John Parkes' website

Steven D’Hondt's website

Integrated Ocean Drilling Program

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ledford, H. How low can life go?. Nature (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing