UNITED KINGDOM – British scientists have found that the lower layers of the atmosphere contain millions of viruses that fall constantly on the ground with the beads of rain.

Scientists from the University of British Columbia have confirmed the presence of 800 million viruses per square meter of the near-Earth atmosphere.

These viruses are mixed with dust on land and with molecules of sea water salts. The scientists created two aerosol assemblies over the Spanish mountains of Sierra Nevada, which are famous for their thick belt of atmospheric dust above the ground.

The entry of millions of bacteria and about one billion viruses into these compounds is found daily. The viruses are deposited at a higher rate of 9441 times than the deposition rate of other microorganisms.

So, researchers believe, the atmosphere plays the role of a bank of genetic diversity of viruses that adapts rapidly to changing environmental conditions.