In 1986 a group of Romanian scientists working near the Black Sea stumbled upon one of the most amazing discoveries of this century, one that would revolutionise our understanding of what life itself is and where it came from.
Geologist and cave explorer Cristian Lascu was inspecting a series of six test wells near a site where the government had planned to construct a nuclear power plant, the first five boreholes yielded nothing unusual and the sixth looked equally unpromising at first, but upon further inspection Lascu realised that this may very well be an opening to a cave, the smell of sulphur encouraged him to dive deeper.
Cristian, being a highly experienced cave explorer knew immediately that this place was unique, using his torch he spotted a whole new world teeming with life. This pitch black cave had been sealed off for millions of years and to come across life was very unexpected, the animals themselves however were very different in appearance to those typically seen in the region. Where had they come from and how could they survive in this hostile environment deep underground?
These lifeforms were nourished by underground volcanic springs and chemosynthetic microbes that predate photosynthetic life and could hold the answer to many questions surrounding the process of evolution.