Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents

Hydrothermal vents

Hydrothermal deep sea vents have been fascinating the scientific world ever since their discovery in 1977. They are basically seafloor geysers spewing as much as 867°F (464°C) hot water.

What makes them so fascinating is the density of population and wide range of various species inhabiting the vent sites.

Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vents

Most commonly found at an average depth of around 7,000 ft (2,100 m), deep sea hydrothermal vents occur as a result of tectonic plates movement in volcanically active areas.

The main reason why the discovery of hydrothermal vents shook the world of science is the fact that they proved that Earth could sustain life all by itself. This is achieved by producing energy from chemicals in a process called chemosynthesis rather than through the process of photosynthesis.

Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vent

Various life forms inhabiting the surrounding area, such as scale worms and giant tube worms are hosts to symbiotic bacteria which provides them with nutrients, proving as critical for their survival in such inhospitable environment.

As the volcanic vents are also believed to exist on Europa, the sixth closest moon of the planet Jupiter, many scientists are hoping to find connection with potential life on other planets by conducting further research in this area.

Hydrothermal Vents Animals

Due to the extreme lack of food, the entire food chain has been formed allowing the development of a completely isolated ecosystem and communities.

Deep Sea Vents

At the very bottom of this food chain are the amazingly resistant bacteria types that can feed on highly toxic soup of chemicals that would otherwise prove fatal for a vast majority of species on planet.

Such bacteria becomes prey of larger species, which is what even larger creatures feed on and so forth.

hydrothermal vents communities

     
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