There are tons of soil, rock, etc. being dug up, dug into, and moved all around the world each day. Paleontologists likewise regularly excavate fossils and both buried and frozen specimens, and biologists take samples of permafrost, soil and underground bodies of water.
Given all of the upheaval of these ancient and underground substrates and specimens, I'm wondering what the odds are that we unearth a superbug?
- by superbug, I mean an otherwise unknown microorganism that modern medicine does not have a way to kill.
I understand that this is likely too broad of a question to be answered here (but feel free to try!), so I will break this down into a more relevant set of questions to inform my research.
How many microbes (# of species and/or density) typically exist in a cubic meter of soil? (or some other volume)
- This article seems to be a good start.
Do these microbe abundances and diversity change with depth?
What is the deepest place in the crust that has been found to harbor life?
- This article from 2010 suggests almost 1400 meters. Have we found deeper?