Aeroplankton Enthusiasts Society

Intangible Products for an Ephemeral World

Volcanic Commuters

aero_plumeWhat to do when no one seems to notice you, you’re broke, and without transport? A question stupefying thousands of unemployed college students daily — solved by our favorite microscopic brethren, who simply hitch-a-lift amongst the ash & molten rock spewed forth by occasional volcanic eruption.  While the scheduling may be a bit erratic, and the company slightly caustic, it’s hard to scoff at the savings.

Recent research by the Geological Society of America and American Society for Microbiology (splendidly summarized by Ars Technica) gave measure to vast numbers of spend-thrift floaters populating volcanic plumes in order to travel huge distances. It would appear that the massive conveyance of aeroplankton by volcano may also contribute to unusual weather patterns and the propagation of bacteria and archaea into new areas.

Once again, the oft-overlooked or seemingly insignificant would seem to play a  significant role in this drama to which we are part.

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