The mysterious microbes living deep inside the earth -- and how they could help humanity | K. Lloyd

  • Published on Jul 12, 2019
  • The ground beneath your feet is home to a massive, mysterious world of microbes -- some of which have been in the earth's crust for hundreds of thousands of years. What's it like down there? Take a trip to the volcanoes and hot springs of Costa Rica as microbiologist Karen Lloyd shines a light on these subterranean organisms and shows how they could have a profound impact on life up here.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 271

  • Joseph Abbate
    Joseph Abbate 11 days ago

    Damn that's actually tea

  • Jared Mitchell
    Jared Mitchell 12 days ago

    I wonder then if lightning is an all you can eat buffet for them?

  • Mario D. Zmaj
    Mario D. Zmaj 24 days ago

    this woman is awesome

  • Olavo Belintani
    Olavo Belintani 29 days ago

    Please. Excuse me. Congratulations Mrs. Karen. Professional researchers like you who make a difference on the planet. My sincere respect, admiration and gratitude. Thank you very much. São Paulo State. Santos City BRZ

  • 플리아tv
    플리아tv Month ago

    I really enjoyed this video!~ Sooo fascinating how little microbs might have key to solve mysteries of life on earth!

  • SingingMyBlue
    SingingMyBlue Month ago +3

    This got to be my favorite TED talk ever. She's so fun and her narration is perfectly captivating. I could hear her explaining things to me for hours, she's so goodat it. So proud of her discovery and hard work. That's one smart lady.

  • Reuben Jacques
    Reuben Jacques Month ago +1

    I hope she doesn't actually think that the mass of earth increases when organisms reproduce.😬

  • Fabio Bareiro
    Fabio Bareiro Month ago

    People, when you should stand up, you don't! Amazing talk!

  • Shaun Davids
    Shaun Davids Month ago

    hold on ,did she just compare a stomach to the globe ?who thinks there more microbes in a tummy than on the planet?what a stupid comparison

    • Jaehaerys Xiang
      Jaehaerys Xiang Month ago

      nah, she compare every single stomach to the globe

  • franz stockmann
    franz stockmann Month ago

    Topic spoiled by global warming politics! I thought scientific thought is open?

    • franz stockmann
      franz stockmann Month ago

      @Shadamehr100 Found the .member of the mindless libt3rd collective!

    • Shadamehr100
      Shadamehr100 Month ago

      Found the Flat Earther

  • mytmouse57
    mytmouse57 Month ago

    Gut microbes make you fart.

    • Richard L
      Richard L Month ago

      The fart speckles in your pants are a biome

  • Quecksilber
    Quecksilber Month ago

    Wait a second. Does that mean those Chemolithoautotrophs are able to make something physical (food) from electricity? They make matter out of energy? Or do they use electricity AND for exaple minerals to get a chemical reaction running? Sorry i am not a native English i hope i understood that correct.

  • OohEhOohAhah TingTang

    They are tracking down Malphite lmao

  • Robert Komarek
    Robert Komarek Month ago

    So ... we're going to disturb a system of microbes we don't understand to help solve a problem ...which we don't understand.

  • nisetoan
    nisetoan Month ago

    Wow I'm blown away... This is crazy! Mycrobs that breathe rocks and exhale other rocks! O.o

  • Chris Lenny
    Chris Lenny Month ago

    If we inject the autotrophs' environment with additional resources, we should at least begin to understand their ecosystem. Someone give Karen a team and a healthy grant to do research.

  • Vegan Wolf
    Vegan Wolf Month ago

    One way to get funding for such research is to claim there's a carbon problem even if there isn't one.

  • Fred Fredrickson
    Fred Fredrickson Month ago

    Interesting one. This seams like both an enlightening and promising field.

  • Ian Grant
    Ian Grant Month ago

    What an awesome talk! Thank you!!!! ❤️

  • EK Lim
    EK Lim Month ago +1

    thanks for the geobiochemlecture

    VGO VGER Month ago

    This lady is wrong, humans are not releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide, 90% of that is naturally occuring coming from rotting rain forest. She is undoubtedly left wing.

    • István Sipos
      István Sipos Month ago

      the bad news regarding this: with our additional %s, we f up the balance of the planet. try a sudden 10% increase with anything. it won't be nice. and human industrialization is a sudden change for nature

  • ncsr11
    ncsr11 2 months ago

    She reminds me of Wonderhussy.

  • Ending Object
    Ending Object 2 months ago

    Fantastic Work :)

  • boz
    boz 2 months ago

    I love her...enthusiasm

  • alexanderoekr
    alexanderoekr 2 months ago

    These kind researches we as humans should approach instead of fighting with each other and arguing about religions.

  • Walid A Jalil
    Walid A Jalil 2 months ago +3

    Great presentation. The latest IPCC report states that we will probably not be able to keep the global avg temperature from rising 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels without the help of Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS). These are processes by which the CO2 is literally sucked out of the air and stored underground. One of the biggest worries about CCS has been the possibility that the CO2 will resurface via cracks & fissures etc. This could be really helpful in keeping it below the surface.

  • Mr Poop
    Mr Poop 2 months ago

    Wow she is beautiful

  • MyhcA
    MyhcA 2 months ago

    Super cool

  • elever galarga
    elever galarga 2 months ago

    Aren't this re uploads?

  • Leo koh
    Leo koh 2 months ago

    so what is the main idea u want to share?

  • Ivy
    Ivy 2 months ago

    If they eat Electrons, Quantum Biology ( Microbiology) is definitely the new Science. RNA came from meteors and inside of minerals in Rocks.

    • Ivy
      Ivy 2 months ago

      @Simon Masters How about Farming CO2 breathing micro organisms with DNA sequencing as in Artificial Bacteria on the surface? "J Craig Venter" has Algae farms that do that but needs support of Government to have them the size of State of Nevada.

    • Simon Masters
      Simon Masters 2 months ago

      Quantum microbiology is a great term, but the challenge will be achieving mass flow of CO2 into the substrata

  • michale andmore
    michale andmore 2 months ago +1

    Life is amazing, it finds a way , no light no problem, life still happens

  • Guy Mercier
    Guy Mercier 2 months ago +1

    Beautiful presentation loved it. keep on the good work

  • Camilo Pedrosa
    Camilo Pedrosa 2 months ago +1

    I love when Karen Lloyd teach or explain something, because nobody can do better with the pasión and time that she puts in it.

  • common common
    common common 2 months ago

    Wow!! As a mechanical engineer, the field of green engineering interests me a lot. Now these scientists would have to prove that chemolithoautotrophs are more energy efficient than industrial carbon sequestration techniques to be a viable option to reverse climate change. Also the environmental impact of excess carbonates needs to be assessed for side affects of using chemolithoautotrophs.

  • 황정환
    황정환 2 months ago


  • Eben Burger
    Eben Burger 2 months ago

    She's cute! ☺

  • Callum Gillman
    Callum Gillman 2 months ago

    Ok Ideas that come to me from this immediately:
    1. can we create a 'rock-based' filter housing that accommodates billions of said CO2 munching Microbes. The 'rock' for the filter be very pourous and therefore 'light' and able to house a much higher density of micobes i.e. activated carbon where billions of wee pockets exist.. Can we 3D print this 'rock-based filter compound and add the microbes in during the printing process to form highly effective channels through said pockets to allow for maximal CO2 absorption? Does this have massive implications for space applications etc.. we could 'take the mircobes' to Mars say, then Print the filter using regolith and house our new colony of CO2 scrubbers? #elonmusk
    2. can we therefore use 'Oceanic Nutrient Seeding' near subduction zones to cause and algae bloom.. 5 tonnes of chelated Iron in the ocean will result in an Algal bloom that will suck between 40-50 tonnes of atmospheric CO2 into the ocean where the algae would naturally die and fall to the oceans floor, taking with it vast amounts of CO2 into the subduction zones locked up in Dead Algal Cells that could then be eaten by those subterranean microbes and locked away once again in the earths crust?
    3. Can we use CRISPR to enhance the CO2 binding chemical reactions to make said bacteria filthy fast at absorbing CO2?
    Scientists... take ur marks... GO!

  • Arch Angel X
    Arch Angel X 2 months ago +1

    More far left propaganda from TED. I knew freaking climate change was gonna be thrown into this! Carbon dioxide is plant food morons. You wanna know how to stop carbon emissions simply grow more trees. This is not rocket science, but in the case of Global warming climate change is hardly science at all.

    • Simon Masters
      Simon Masters 2 months ago +1

      Woah mate...
      First she makes the point we know very little about this vast biome. It is likely to be quite diverse, almost 👽 alien, and contain organisms with chemical pathways we can barely imagine but which might be very useful in teraforming.
      Second, I'm with you on trees (and soil carbon) but let's not critise this speaker for doing her job even if it's pure research.
      Take a chill pill and ease up like the organisms she describes...

  • Divya Murugesan
    Divya Murugesan 2 months ago

    No TED talk?

  • Will Montgomery
    Will Montgomery 2 months ago

    holy mother of god

  • Walking Crow
    Walking Crow 2 months ago

    First to figure out how to use microbes to lock CO2 into crystal form gets to be the Father/Mother of the diamond age. I want it in a spray can so I can diamond coat my sunglasses.

  • John Caleb Warren
    John Caleb Warren 2 months ago +1

    I was teaching my kid to ride a bike without training wheels, gave them a push and noticed this video pop up in my feed. Im watching it right now & so drawn in! Kid should be ok

  • Ono Northey
    Ono Northey 2 months ago

    the chemolithoautotroph bit was fascinating!!

  • Eric Quiroz
    Eric Quiroz 2 months ago

    i snoozed through this boring topic

    • Aaron Rosenberg
      Aaron Rosenberg 2 months ago

      @Eric Quiroz
      "You show no grace or intelligence."
      Nor was I attempting to. I was simply responding to your rude remark.
      "I hope you get help for your disorder in cutting down people you do not even know the first thing about."
      I hope you get help for your rude behavior. See? I did it again.

    • Eric Quiroz
      Eric Quiroz 2 months ago +1

      ​@Aaron Rosenberg You show no grace or intelligence. I hope you get help for your disorder in cutting down people you do not even know the first thing about.

    • Aaron Rosenberg
      Aaron Rosenberg 2 months ago

      Sorry to hear about your intellectual limitations.

  • Shariar Rahman
    Shariar Rahman 2 months ago


  • N Premoe
    N Premoe 2 months ago


  • Jörg Kampmann
    Jörg Kampmann 2 months ago +1

    thanks for this super talk. This could possibly a solution to the odds of climate change (AGW)

  • dg Wiley
    dg Wiley 2 months ago +1

    Ban volcanoes for making greenhouse gases. Humans don't create 1 millionth as much.

  • Glenn Reid
    Glenn Reid 2 months ago

    What are the microbes metabolising the CO2 into?

  • Andrew Bellinger
    Andrew Bellinger 2 months ago

    WOW! AOC really is smart!!!

  • Debbie Judd
    Debbie Judd 2 months ago

    Heres a great possibly the greatest break through plant some fucking trees . Stupid scientists thats what will clean the fucking air . Tbey have been doing it for millio s of years. Jackasses

    • Aaron Rosenberg
      Aaron Rosenberg 2 months ago

      I'll consider your ideas if and when you are able to put a sentence together.

  • G11713
    G11713 2 months ago

    Interestingly, this also affirmatively answers the question of whether rock eating aliens can exist. I was expecting her to also mention geothermal energy as a food source for these microbes.

  • zerooskul
    zerooskul 2 months ago

    The human lifespan IS significantly shorter than trees. We know they do stuff, not because we live as long as a redwood but because we can examine living and dead redwoods.

    • István Sipos
      István Sipos Month ago

      we also live long enough to see the seasons (and the trees in them) change in cycles. which was her entire point with that tree analogy

    • Alain Christe
      Alain Christe 2 months ago

      zerooskul it is? astute observation.

  • Traywor
    Traywor 2 months ago

    So, have i understood this right that if these microbes, which are preventing the carbon dioxid from bubbling up into the athmosphere, would vanish, we would have a much bigger athmospheric problem, than we have now?

  • Tiavor Kuroma
    Tiavor Kuroma 2 months ago

    if they would reproduce at the speed of eColi they wouldn't double the weight of anything, they would just live faster and die faster, they can't "add" weight, they would digest stuff that's around them.

  • Torsten Persson
    Torsten Persson 2 months ago +2

    Carbon dioxide is positive for all living species. To remove it from the air is extremely stupid. We are in a cartbon dioxide drought.
    We need more not less. Please look for the greening of the planet.

  • Comment Highlighted
    Comment Highlighted 2 months ago +11

    Hmm... that tree analogy was actually very cool. It opened my mind to seeing things differently all together 🤔

  • Craig Keller
    Craig Keller 2 months ago

    What a mind!

  • Ghughu Maal
    Ghughu Maal 2 months ago

    Curiosity killed d 🐈