(FOX NEWS) -- Charles Darwin is credited with the idea that life on Earth evolved in shallow pools of water. Now, a new study suggests that instead of life originating in a "warm little pond," it may have come from deep-sea hydrothermal vents — an idea that could hold significance for extraterrestrial life.
The research, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, suggests that these deep-sea environments had the heat and alkalinity to start life.
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"There are multiple competing theories as to where and how life started," said the study's lead author, University College London professor Nick Lane, in a statement. "Underwater hydrothermal vents are among most promising locations for life's beginnings — our findings now add weight to that theory with solid experimental evidence."