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Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned...
Superheated magma, about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, glows orange as it slowly...
Census researchers manipulate the robotic arm of the remotely operated vehicle...
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Scientists don’t often get the opportunity to travel through time. But nestled...

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A volcanic eruption of superheated magma (some 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit) from the West Mata Volcano produces a bright flash of hot magma that is blown up into the water before settling back to the seafloor. The explosion throws...
Superheated magma, about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, glows orange as it slowly...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden...

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Did you know that 80 percent of the volcanic eruptions on Earth take place underwater? These underwater eruptions occur...
Nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that could provide the key to our understanding of one of the biggest threats to coral reef survival: Ocean Acidification...
A volcanic eruption of superheated magma (some 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit) from the West Mata Volcano produces a bright flash of hot magma that is blown up into the water before settling back to the...
Recent scientific discoveries have revealed an underwater community of marine animals and other organisms that thrive in the dark depths of the ocean near hydrothermal vents and undersea volcanoes...
The yeti crab ( Kiwa hirsuta ), an unusual, hairy crab with no eyes, was discovered in 2005 on a hydrothermal vent near Easter Island. It represents not only a new species but also a new genus— Kiwa...
NOAA’s New Millennium Observatory (NeMO) was set up to study geologic, chemical, and biologic interactions along the mid-ocean ridge system. Learn more about NeMO and watch a video about underwater...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden water flows out of the seafloor in undersea hot springs—such as the Guymas Basin of the Gulf of California at 2,000 meters...
Travel to a world of perpetual night--the deep ocean hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos Rift where life thrives around superheated water spewing from deep inside the Earth. Discovered only in 1977...
A giant tortoise subspecies ( Geochelone nigra vicina ) lives on Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Cerro Azul, estimated to be about 350,000 years old, is one of six volcanoes on the island.
Imagine: You’re in a small submersible, and you gently settle on the soft muddy bottom at a depth of 12,000 feet. It’s absolutely dark. What will you see when the exterior lights are turned on? Will...
Flower-like zoanthids, relatives of coral, carpet a hydrothermal vent. This species of zoanthid is the first ever discovered at a hydrothermal vent. See more pictures of incredible deep sea diversity...
It may be the last place you’d expect to find corals—up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface, where the water is icy cold and the light dim or absent. Yet believe it or not, lush coral...
Census researchers manipulate the robotic arm of the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Quest to study shrimp and other deep sea life forms. They discovered the creatures at a hydrothermal vent 3...
Orange shaded areas are major drainage basins of Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras that contribute sediment to the Caribbean. Wind and current patterns are represented by red and black arrows,...
But what path, precisely, did this pumice take to reach Belize from the Guatemalan Highlands? Maps of drainage networks that reach the Gulf of Honduras and currents in the western Caribbean Sea are...
Kilauea Volcano, Kalapana, Hawaii, USA “In the upper left of this image I can visualize the profile of Pele, the fire goddess of Hawaiian folklore, as if she is whispering to the sea.” -- Nature's...
As a geological oceanographer at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Dr. Maggie Toscano has made a career of documenting how coastal systems have changed over thousands of years in...
In this episode of the Podcast of Life , host Ari Daniel Shapiro dives deep to discover a white worm as tall as your refrigerator that breathes through bright red feathery "lips." This isn’t a...
Scientists don’t often get the opportunity to travel through time. But nestled among the beautiful coral reefs of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a place that provides a glimpse today of what could be the...
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