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Deep inside a gold mine with the researcher who found the 'Devil Worm' - CNET

Editors' note: This article is part ofDear Future, a collaboration between CNET and VICE Motherboard that looks at major innovations -- in robotics, space travel, VR and more -- shaping the world around us.

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Traveling 4,600 feet underground into the tunnels of South Africa's Beatrix Gold Mine is not for the faint of heart.

The only light comes from headlamps, casting only enough light to show the ground a few meters ahead. Stray beams outline the tunnel's jagged walls and ceilings. Water trickles in a shallow stream and rushes behind the walls. But none of this bothers Gaetan Borgonie, a Belgian zoologist who has dedicated his own life to finding organisms that survive in nature's most inhospitable conditions.

In June, Motherboard accompanied Borgonie on his first trip back to the Beatrix Gold Mine since 2015. He was searching for "mephisto worms," microscopic extremophiles that can survive...(continued)

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