Oceanus Magazine
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A Microbial Garden Beneath the Seafloor, Pt. 2 of 3

Even on outlying ridge flanks, away from volcanic heat sources, subsurface microbes in seafloor rocks and in sediments that accumulate atop rocks, can still obtain energy using a variety of low-temperature aerobic or anaerobic chemical reactions.

* White numbered dots: Microbes living in the subsurface at or near deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites exploit a wide range of conditions. Here is a list of known or possible chemical reactions microbes use to live and grow. (Illustration by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)