Dr Clara Sousa Silva of the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology (MIT) said: “The discovery raises many questions, such as how any organisms could survive.
“On Earth, some microbes can cope with up to about five percent of acid in their environment—but the clouds of Venus are almost entirely made of acid.”
So the scientists are cautious about the initial findings and more work is needed to better understand them.
The discovery was made possible thanks to the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) in Hawaii and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile.
Professor Jane Greaves of Cardiff University, who led the study, said: “This was an experiment made out of pure curiosity, really – taking advantage of JCMT’s powerful technology, and thinking about future instruments.