Ancient 15,000-Year-Old Viruses Found in Melting Tibetan Glaciers

Ancient creatures are emerging from the cold storage of melting permafrost, almost like something out of a horror movie.

From incredibly preserved extinct megafauna like the woolly rhino, to the 40,000-year-old remains of a giant wolf, and bacteria over 750,000 years old.

Not all of these things are dead.

Centuries-old moss was able to spring back to life in the warmth of the laboratory. So too, incredibly, were tiny 42,000-year-old roundworms.

These fascinating glimpses of organisms from Earth’s long distant past are revealing the history of ancient ecosystems, including details of the environments in which they existed.

But the melt has also created some concerns about ancient viruses coming back to haunt us.

“Melting will not only lead to the loss of those ancient, archived microbes and viruses, but also release them to the environments in the future,” researchers explained in a study last year, led by first author and microbiologist Zhi-Ping Zhong from Ohio State University.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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