Bacteria, Viruses, and Protists

Bacteria Basics

Where are bacteria found?

Various types of bacteria inhabit every place on Earth—including places where no other organism can survive. Bacteria have been detected as high as 20 miles (32 kilometers) above the Earth and around 7 miles (11 kilometers) deep in the waters of the Pacific Ocean (in what is called the Challenger Deep in the huge Mariana Trench—a deep chasm in the seabed deep enough to swallow Mount Everest). They are found in extreme environments, such as the Arctic tundra, boiling hot springs—and all over our bodies.


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