World’s deepest known undersea volcanic vent found

By | April 14, 2010

Worlds deepest known undersea volcanic vent found

This undated photo released by the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England, Monday April 12, 2010, shows a cloud of smoky water billowing from the top of a tower of metal ore at a volcanic vent five kilometers (more than three miles) beneath the surface of the Caribbean. The vent, located in the Cayman Trough, is the deepest ever discovered, a British scientific expedition says. Experts hope that studies of the vent and the exotic creatures which bask in its warmth will yield insight into how life formed on earth, and perhaps elsewhere too

Scientists using a remote-controlled submarine have discovered the deepest known volcanic vent and say the superheated waters inside could contain undiscovered marine species and perhaps even clues to the origin of life on earth.

Experts aboard the RRS James Cook said they found the underwater volcanic vent more than three miles (five kilometers) beneath the surface of the Caribbean in an area known as the Cayman Trough, a deep-sea canyon that served as the setting for James Cameron’s underwater thriller “The Abyss.”

Geologist Bramley Murton, the submersible’s pilot, said exploring the area was “like wandering across the surface of another world,” complete with spires of multicolored mineral deposits and thick collections of fluorescent blue microorganisms thriving in the slightly cooler waters around the chimneys.

The scenes “were like nothing I had ever seen before,” Murton said.

via World’s deepest known undersea volcanic vent found – Yahoo! News.

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