Living microbes are found in Mars-like conditions in Spain.
Living microbes have been found inside of salt deposits in the Tinto River in Huelva, Spain.
The discovery of microscopic organisms that live in deposits of salt was confirmed by researchers at the Centre of Astrobiology.
The Tinto River is red, and has been compared to the environment on the planet Mars.
Similar minerals are found in the Tinto River and on the red planet.
According to a coauthor of the study, Felipe Gómez: “The salt deposits are good hosts for biological remains and even life itself in extreme circumstances.”
The conditions of the river are not fertile, but extremely polluted from 5 thousand years of mining contamination that is acidic and full of heavy metals.
The Tinto River mines have been an important source of minerals and metal, starting in 3000 B.C. with the Iberians and Tartessans.
Romans may have cast some of their first coins out of metal mined from the area near the river.
The mines were abandoned for a long period and then rediscovered in 1556.
Mining didn’t begin again until years later in 1724.