Deep biology, or the study of subsurface archaea, has its roots in the 1920s, when scientists from the University of Chicago found bacteria in oil deposits within sedimentary rocks 600 meters below ground (Monastersky 1997). This discovery was thought to be a by product of contamination and thus was spat upon by the scientific community. In the 50s and 60s researches studied microbes from seafloor sediments but the belief that the samples were contaminated again tarnished the discovery. In 1985 the Department of Energy launched a subsurface science program in hopes of hindering the spread of toxic materials (which were improperly discarded during the cold war) through the ground. This program was able to create contamination free procedures of drilling for and retrieving rock samples and thus discovered communities of bacteria and archaea at a depth of 500m. This research of subsurface life has continued and diversified.