Japanese scientists say they have revived microbes that were in a dormant state for more than 100 million years.
The tiny organisms had survived in the South Pacific seabed – in sediment that is poor in nutrients, but has enough oxygen to allow them to live.
Microbes are among the earth’s simplest organisms, and some can live in extreme environments where more developed life forms cannot survive.
After incubation by the scientists, the microbes began to eat and multiply.
The research was led by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and published in the journal Nature Communications.