Click on 4 images to enlarge them and
the links to find out
what can live in these extremely harsh conditions.
Images courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Scientists Discover New Hydrothermal Vents (ABC News, AP Science Writer,
"The findings are significant because they show that such hydrothermal vents are
a global phenomena, which may help shed light on Earth's geological development
and the origins of simple life."
Vent Interactives - Vent Basics
Dive down with scientists to the bottom of the Mid-Ocean Ridge in the eastern
Pacific Ocean where volcanic action is gushing from deep below the ocean crust
as super-heated underwater geysers of molten rock, metals and chemical fluids.
(Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Deep Sea Biology
- Ask a Scientist answers questions about life in the deep sea where the
sun's light never penetrates.
Amazingly, there are living organisms
surviving in temperatures as high as 350°C (660°F)
around hydrothermal vents through a
process called chemosynthesis.
(The planet nearest to our Sun is Mercury. It has a temperature of 350°C
during the day.)
Learn more about what lives in these superheated
environments on Earth.
(Biological Sciences Dept, State University of New York at Stony Brook)
Explorer - Ashes vent field
Fly-through movie and panoramic view of the site. (requires Quicktime)
Take the Extreme 2000 Voyage to the Deep to learn
all about hydrothermal vents.
See link on our Ocean Home page