"The way I sit for hours looking at things I hate makes me cool."
But there are places even more toxic to joy and life than the YouTube comment section (and the commenters who manage to reproduce there). These life-forms put every human who has ever claimed to be "extreme" to shame. After all, they manage to survive ...
7In a Lake of Boiling Asphalt
Scientists discovered millions of simplistic life forms trapped in a toxic hell of asphalt and oil fumes, but were too sophisticated to make a joke about traffic.
Fixed that for ya, smart people.
Pitch Lake is located in Trinidad and Tobago, and we're fairly sure it was imported direct from hell. About 150 square miles of asphalt, 250 feet deep and bubbling with hydrocarbon fumes seeping from oil reserves, it's like Mother Nature is passive-aggressively petrochemically polluting herself. And like a boyfriend exploiting the silent treatment to play Modern Warfare 3, humanity sucks out the asphalt to help pave roads over the rest of the island.
The moral: Don't start a fight with a people holding construction equipment.
But even in the incredibly heavy-handed metaphor of Pitch Lake, life flourishes, because there are 10 million organisms living in it. Sorry, that's 10 million organisms per gram of it, just chilling out in the Death Jacuzzi. The environment is so ludicrously lethal that the discovery was reported in Astrobiology, because it had nothing to do with normal life on Earth. These things eat petrochemicals and breathe metal, making them more Transformer STD than Terran life form. Though, in fairness, that wouldn't be the lowest form of life to screw up the Transformers in the last decade.
Bacteria didn't film Bumblebee pissing on a man.
This isn't just one new species; it's a whole community of bacteria and ancient archaea just hanging around in the modern world. Because when you can relax in a pool of liquid road soaked in gasoline, you can live wherever you want. We might have a few billion years of natural selection on our side, we but haven't evolved balls big enough to deal with that.
6Frozen in Ice and Time
Lake Untersee might sound like a comical foreigner's description of where you find fish. In reality, it couldn't be more hostile to properly evolved life if it were The Jersey Shore. The Antarctic lake has been iced over for at least 100,000 years. Its only inflow is from fresh-melted glacier water, which sounds lovely and expensive if you bottle it, but the lake receives less nutrition than a runway model.
Deep-breathing exercises double as lunch.
The same lake has no outflow. It only loses water when it freezes and then sublimates off into the atmosphere. Untersee's only interaction with the rest of the universe has to happen through a membrane of permanently solid ice that has cut it off from the rest of nature since nature was still making itself up on the fly. Fortunately for science, this means life didn't bother evolving there, and instead stayed the way it was to begin with -- even allowing teams of scientists to find and research stromatolites in the lake. If you're asking "What the hell are stromatolites?" then you should be more respectful of your ancestors. Everything's ancestors. Stromatolites are mounds built by the microorganisms that dominated the first 3.5 billion years of life on Earth, aka most of it, and now only survive in environments utterly inimical to modern life, like frozen alkaline lakes and bits of Australia.
"I still say we should have gone to Antarctica."
The environment is so ludicrously alien to life as we know it that they sent a NASA team with SETI backup. The reports don't mention the special forces with flamethrowers, possibly because that's just standard procedure for projects aiming to release life encased in Antarctic ice since the dawn of being. NASA is interested because life in Lake Untersee supports the possibility of life on Enceladus, a frozen moon of Saturn. Untersee is so stupidly hard to live in that even rocket scientists say, "If life can exist here, it can exist anywhere!"
Not exactly New York. In that it's clean and you won't get stabbed.