Sulfate-reducing bacteria love metal. Using complex chemistry, they are capable of dissolving objects made of metal. These bacteria can make a sixteenth-of-an-inch hole in an inch-thick pipe within six months. Even stainless steel and titanium can't stand up to them. The sulfate-reducing bacteria often attach themselves to the inside of a pipe or tank and seal off their colony from the liquid inside. Once sealed off, the bacteria start to form hydrogen gas. Sealed under a miniature biosphere, the hydrogen accumlates and is absorbed by the metal. The absorbed hydrogen begins to corrode the metal, making it brittle.

Isn't it interesting that this so-called simple organism can produce complex chemical reactions that can eat away man's strongest metal alloys? Simple organisms are anything but simple!

From A Closer Look at the Evidence by Kleiss, March 27.

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