Deep within the Arctic Ocean, between Norway and Iceland, is a field known as Loki’s Castle. Loki’s Castle is one of the most desolate environments on earth.
This Castle contains a large field of hydrothermal vents on the seafloor. Not only is the seabed high in pressure and low in oxygen, but it is also a difficult place for any organism to live and function well.
New Strains Of Chlamydia-Related Bacteria Found Beneath The Arctic Ocean’s Sea Floor
Recently, a team of researchers extracted sediments from this environment to learn more about the microbes that live there. To their surprise, they found strains of Chlamydia related bacteria.
As a different group of bacteria, Chlamydia is known to transfer s*xually transmitted infections that give humans a range of uncomfortable symptoms. All members of the Chlamydia bacteria family are parasitic; they depend on other living organisms to survive.
From animals to humans, these living organisms serve as a host for Chlamydia. Finding them in the deep part of the Arctic Ocean was quite surprising to the scientists because that was no visible sign of host organisms on the ocean floor.
Lead study author Jennah Dharamshi, a Ph.D. researcher and a cellular biologist at the Uppsala University, Sweden said:
“Finding Chlamydia in this environment was completely unexpected and, of course, begged the question: What on earth were they doing there?”
Two miles below the surface of the Arctic Ocean, Scientists collected new strains from sediments on the ocean floor. They found that 51 out of the 68 samples contained Chlamydiae – the common word for Chlamydia and other related bacteria.
Nicolette Lanes of Live science stated that one group shares a common origin with the bacteria that causes discomfort in animals and humans.
Smithsonian also stated that researchers found strains of Chlamydia that cause s*xually transmitted infections. This discovery has left scientists in awe because Chlamydiae originally depend on their host – living organisms to survive but have learned how to survive in isolation.
According to Dharamshi:
“Finding that Chlamydia has marine sediment relatives has given us new insights into how Chlamydia pathogens evolved.”
A new study published in the journal Current Biology also revealed that the Chlamydia bacteria found in the ocean floor were diverse, active, and abundant. Their abundance in such a place says how much about how they can survive without a host.