lives between sand grains and in soils. Research by Professor Jason DeJong and his colleagues at the University of California at Davis and the University of Massachusetts have shown that the bacterium causes calcite, or calcium carbonate, to precipitate, which glues the grains together. Inject sand with cultures of these bacteria, feed them well, provide oxygen and a source of calcium, and they will turn loose sand into solid rock. As DeJong says, "Starting from a sand pile, you turn it back into sandstone."
Magnus Larsson describes in the video below his project to use the properties of this bacterium to build a "Great Wall" across the southern Sahara Desert. The wall would provide shelter for nomads and wildlife while simultaneously acting as a natural barrier to protect against the destructive sandstorms of the region. As he describes it: "All I did was to deliberately misapply their technology ... and to pump up the scale, and turn it into a 6,000-km-long wall that's made of sand and protects against sand."