The team of scientists described the region, which is free from particles caused by human activity, as “truly pristine,” according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
From analyzing the microbes’ bacterial composition, the team concluded that pollution from human activities worldwide was not present in the region’s air.
“We were able to use the bacteria in the air over the Southern Ocean as a diagnostic tool to infer key properties of the lower atmosphere,” Thomas Hill, research scientist and co-author of the study, said in a statement.
The research team, however, strongly suspected that the air over the Southern Ocean would be protected from human activity and pollution.
Researchers from Colorado State University believe they have found the world’s cleanest air, located over the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica.