Vents & Volcanoes

Hot water, minerals, methane and other chemicals can be found seeping up from the seafloor where specialized communities of microbes and animals thrive. Underwater volcanoes also spew a huge amount of magma and drive movement of the seafloor.

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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 kilometers (1.9 miles)...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden...
By Lyndsy Ganza & the Ocean Portal Team Life is typically sparse on the...
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Scientists don’t often get the opportunity to travel through time. But nestled...

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Superheated magma, about 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, glows orange as it slowly leaks from cracks along the six-mile long active rift zone of the West Mata Volcano in the Pacific Ocean near Fiji. The slow-leaking magma doesn't erupt...
Riftia tubeworm ( Riftia pachyptila ) colonies grow where hot, mineral-laden...
Methane gas, trapped deep within the Earth's crust, can slowly leak from...

DIVE DEEPER

By Lyndsy Ganza & the Ocean Portal Team Life is typically sparse on the deep seafloor, where organisms endure high...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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...
Methane gas, trapped deep within the Earth's crust, can slowly leak from cracks in the seafloor known as methane seeps. While we would never consider methane as food, in the deep sea where there is...
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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