Scientists have discovered underwater microbes that have lived “for thousands of years under extreme energy limits.”

A study published this month showed that living organisms can survive with lower energy needs than any life previously discovered by humans,media reported. The microbes inhabited by some of the sediments in the seabed, as shown in the study, have been “living under extreme energy limits for thousands of years”, leading scientists to question the limits of life.

The microbes studied by the scientists “live less than the previously calculated minimum estimate of the base energy limit of life in the natural environment”. Previous estimates of microbial energy utilization in quaternous marine sediments (cell-specific power) were found to be “two orders of magnitude less than the minimum maintenance power of the experimental microorganisms”.

In addition, the scientists found that the energy utilization of these organisms was “five orders of magnitude lower than the minimum maintenance power estimate based on culture”. These microbes require very little energy to survive, and they can remain alive for thousands of years.

Earlier this year, these 100 million-year-old deep-sea microbes were discovered. Since then, some interesting conclusions have been revealed by the team that published the first study. The core used to discover these creatures came from 6,000 metres below the surface.

The study was published this week in the journal Science Advances.