World's Oldest Flowing Water: The Well of Life?
Water that has been isolated from the surface and from the sun has been found bubbling out of a deep bore hole in a mine near Timmins, Ontario. Possible bacterial life that this water sustains would have developed completely differently from life on the rest of the planet, and scientists are searching for new life forms that can survive without sunlight, similar to the bacteria that grow on deep undersea thermal vents. Gasses dissolved in this deep ancient fluid are capable of sustaining life. A mine in South Africa has similar non-solar dependant isolated bacterial life found in its water also.
This wonderful discovery shows us how Pachamama holds many surprises in her vast embrace! The water contains xenon gas, which is how it has been dated: a certain percentage of this gas was once contained in the earth's atmosphere in the distant past. The water has a salty taste.
"Water found in a deep, isolated reservoir in Timmins, Ont., has been trapped there for 1.5 billion to 2.64 billion years — since around the time the first multicellular life arose on the planet — Canadian and British scientists say."
"The water pouring out of boreholes 2.4 kilometres below the surface in the northern Ontario copper and zinc mine is older than any other free-flowing water ever discovered. It is rich in dissolved gases such as hydrogen and methane that could theoretically provide support for microbial life, the researchers report in a paper published Wednesday online in the journal Nature."
"Some Canadian members of the team are currently testing the water to see if it contains microbial life — if they exist, those microbes may have been isolated from the sun and the Earth's surface for billions of years and may reveal how microbes evolve in isolation."