The ability of bacteria to adapt to just about every environment that the earth can create is well-established. Hot, cold, acids, bases, high pressure, low pressure, radiation, you name it, there’s probably a bacteria that can live in it.
Don’t think that humans rule the earth; we don’t rule jack-squat. Bacteria are the King of life on this planet, they have been since the dawn of life and probably will be until our little rock melts in the
supernova red giant of our dying sun (and even then…). If you can’t bring yourself around to accepting that, I recommend “Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin” by Steven Jay Gould.
Olivia Judson, in her blog “The Wild side“, has put up a post about what might be considered the last great holdout of livable environments on earth: the sky. Oh sure, lot’s of living things can be found in the sky, but it has always been considered a place of passage, not a place to put down roots.
In the post she discusses the implications of a recent article by Birgit Sattler et al in Geophysical Research Letters that puts forward the concept that cloud water may need to be considered as a microbial habitat.
Fun and flippy reading and no need to be an evolutionary biologist, as she is, to understand it. Here’s her post: