Life in Hell - Survivors of Darkness| 49mins
Director: Thierry Berrod | Producer: Thierry Berrod
Focus Years: 2010 | Country: France
In these environments, microorganisms rule. Certain animals have strange adaptations such as skin that is totally white or even transparent. Others are blind. Scientists are studying how these species manage to survive with so little oxygen, food and light in the most inhospitable caves on the planet. The Movile Cave in Romania is without a doubt the most extreme subterranean environment on Earth. Its isolation for several millions of years has led to the creation of a special microcosm. In certain parts of the cave, the concentration of hydrogen sulphate is 100 times that of the air we breathe. And yet in this hell, thanks to the action of certain microbes, a rich ecosystem has developed. In Mexico, in another tiny underground microbial paradise, there flows a stream that is almost an opaque white, and yet a curious species of fish lives in it. This fish has developed strategies for living in water saturated with hydrogen sulphate. In Slovenia, a mysterious creature, the proteus, has human-like skin, pink and transparent. It manages to survive without food for many months; it is even capable of eating its own tissues. So as not to use too many calories, it has only three digits. All these adaptations, these strategies, have enabled life to develop in extreme conditions. The species encountered are constantly interacting with each other. A remarkable equilibrium, extremely fragile and often unimaginable, is the result.