Scientists have discovered a community of 4-inch amoebas living at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest known part of the world's oceans.
The real organisms are not a hive mind which each cell able to attach to people and able to cause intense pain.
Of course the real single cell organisms cannot fly through the air. However, they could be recovered from the deep ocean and then flung through the air.
The researchers spotted the life forms at depths up to 6.6 miles (10,641 meters) within the Sirena Deep of the Mariana Trench. The previous depth record for xenophyophores was approximately 4.7 miles (7,500 m) in the New Hebrides Trench, although sightings in the deepest portion of the Mariana Trench have been reported.
Scientists say xenophyophores are the largest individual cells in existence. Recent studies indicate that by trapping particles from the water, xenophyophores can concentrate high levels of lead, uranium and mercury and are thus likely resistant to large doses of heavy metals. They also are well suited to a life of darkness, low temperature and high pressure in the deep sea.
"The identification of these gigantic cells in one of the deepest marine environments on the planet opens up a whole new habitat for further study of biodiversity, biotechnological potential and extreme environment adaptation," said Doug Bartlett, the Scripps marine microbiologist who organized the expedition.
Tip of the iceberg
The xenophyophores are just the tip of the deep-sea ecosystem iceberg. The expedition also found the deepest jellyfish observed to date, as well as other mysterious animals.
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