Cradle of life
On volcanic sea bottom was earliest of life,
To be born so early was downright precocious
And that too in such a place was utterly audacious!
Life, would you believe, was born in the dark depths of oceans, in waters brought to boil by molten rock seeping out through huge fissures on the sea bottom, in waters utterly devoid of oxygen, and laced with hydrogen sulphide, a gas that famously smells of rotting eggs!
It indeed, received a baptism of fire and brimstone, for brimstone means sulphur, and the outpourings on the underbelly of the ocean are full of sulphur, these earliest of organisms met their energy needs by combining hydrogen sulphide with carbon dioxide to form simple organic compounds. The present day green plants manufacture sugars in a similar fashion by combining water, which is nothing but hydrogen oxide with carbon dioxide. But that requires more sophisticated chemical machinery that took ages to evolve. Conditions of life have changed dramatically over much of the earth since its origin three hundred and eighty crores of years ago. But life still thrives on sea bottom volcanoes, supporting bacteria that are fond of very high temperatures hyperthermophiles and are chemolithautotrophic use the chemical energy of rocks. Life indeed was born and still prospers in hell!
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