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A Glittering Find

A chimney sample from a hydrothermal vent, collected on a January 2014 research expedition, shows deposits of glittering yellow iron sulfide, or pyrite. Also known as "fool's gold," the mineral forms when sulfides and iron in hydrothermal fluids combine and precipitate on contact with cold seawater. WHOI scientist Stefan Sievert recently led an international team of researchers on the expedition to the East Pacific Rise vents to study microbial organisms, some of which use sulfur to obtain energy. The expedition was featured on the Dive and Discover website. (Photo by David Levin, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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