<p>Microbes, like this single-celled marine phytoplankton, make up a staggering 90 percent of the ocean’s total biomass. Because such organisms are so difficult to observe in nature, much of the ocean’s microbial life remains a mystery to science.</p>

Protoperidinium Pellucidum

Microbes, like this single-celled marine phytoplankton, make up a staggering 90 percent of the ocean’s total biomass. Because such organisms are so difficult to observe in nature, much of the ocean’s microbial life remains a mystery to science.

Photograph by Stephanie Valentin and David Patterson, micro*scope

Marine Microbes

Microbes make up a staggering 90 percent of the ocean’s total biomass, but many of them remain a mystery to science.

Read This Next

Mysterious purple coating found on Mars rocks
Did hallucinogenic booze fuel politics in ancient Peru?
On the trail of Colombia’s sloth cartel

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet