Scientists think studying ‘extremophiles’ in toxic hydrothermal vents could teach us about potential extraterrestrial life.
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What is a hydrothermal vent?
“Scientists first discovered hydrothermal vents in 1977 while exploring an oceanic spreading ridge near the Galapagos Islands. To their amazement, the scientists also found that the hydrothermal vents were surrounded by large numbers of organisms that had never been seen before.”
Deepest Hydrothermal Vents Teem With Strange Shrimp
“Researchers exploring the seafloor south of the Cayman Islands have discovered the world’s deepest-known hydrothermal vents, an underwater hotspot teeming with bizarre shrimp with light receptors on their backs.”
Just How Little Do We Know about the Ocean Floor?
“The entire ocean floor has now been mapped to a maximum resolution of around 5km, which means we can see most features larger than 5km across in those maps. That’s the resolution of a new global map of the seafloor published recently by David Sandwell of Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego and colleagues, who used some nifty tricks with satellites to estimate the landscape of the sea floor and even reveal some features of the Earth’s crust lurking beneath sea-floor sediments.”
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Written By: Lauren Ellis