Tag archives for Lava Tubes
The correct answer is microbe poop! Scientists thought that the colorful deposits (like the ones in the picture above) found in lava tubes were minerals, but as it turns out, they’re really droppings from microbes living in the tubes.
Gross? Maybe, but the deposits can also be beautiful, according to scientists. Some examples are “a lovely blue-green ooze dripping out of the [cave] ceiling in Hawaii; a vein of what looks like a gold, crunchy mineral in New Mexico; and, in the Azores, amazing pink hexagons,” said Diana Northup, a geomicrobiologist at the University of New Mexico.
Find out more about the mats of microbe poop and how they might provide clues to life on Mars on National Geographic News.
Speaking of evidence, read about a birdnapper that got busted with poop on his shoes in another News Bite.
Photograph courtesy Guy Caniaux