A team from the University of Toronto in Canada has discovered what could be the ‘oldest’ water on Earth.
The researchers found the samples of water from a mine in Ontario in 2009. Tests conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford found that the mean age of the samples was 1.6 billion years old, making it the oldest water sample ever found on Earth.
The team also found microbes in the water samples, which survived in trace amounts of hydrogen and sulphate. While such life forms are known to exist on the ocean floor, this is the first time that such microbial life has been found deep within continents.
The researchers say that studying watery sites like this on Earth could give them clues about where life might reside elsewhere in the Solar System, such as the oceans on the icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter.