Have you ever thought about what life looks like in a volcano? What about the bottom of the ocean or inside glaciers?

It’s hard to believe that life could exist in planet’s most extreme environments, but it turns out they are home to some of the planet’s most fascinating species: microbes.

Image: Far away image of a volcano pit burning in the dark of night

Source: Pixabay

In places where little else can thrive, microbes are king. They are found all over the globe living in some of the most hostile environments, adapting and surviving in ways never thought possible.

One of the scientists who studies these strange life forms is Jeffrey Marlow. His work has taken him all over the world and brought him to its extremes.

Here he is on the National Geographic Live stage talking about his fascinating work, and what the discovery of life forms living in extreme environments means for the future of science, medicine, and even space exploration.

National Geographic has some truly interesting and incredible talks over on their website, so go check them out! And while you’re there, poke around! National Geographic is doing, supporting, and highlighting some truly fantastic things that are helping prove that it’s still an amazing world.

Perhaps what struck me most about this talk was not its content, though this research is absolutely remarkable, but Marlow’s obvious passion for his work throughout the talk. His is the kind of passion that is infectious. The kind of passion that pushes us forward into new realms of understanding about the world around us.

The breadth and depth of knowledge out there that is untapped is limitless. Research like Marlow’s has the potential to give us a new understanding of what life could look like beyond earth, and perhaps a more accurate gauge on that big question, “Are we alone?”

Paradigm shifts are waiting for us just beyond the horizon and the more we encourage budding scientists to take their passions and apply them to important questions out there, the more we will find our perspective changing.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


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  1. Marlow, Jeffery. “Searching For Life in Volcanoes and Other Extreme Environments – Nat Geo Live.” YouTube. National Geographic, 22 Aug. 2016. Web. 25 Aug. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLpam8jMp-o>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV