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Diffuse hydrothermal flow

Reaching For Answers

ROV Jason reaches its manipulator arm into a diffuse hydrothermal flow known as Shrimp Gulley on the Mid Cayman Rise. In January 2012, WHOI geologist Chris German led a team on a NASA-funded expedition to these deepest known vent sites, where life thrives despite seemingly harsh conditions. Blind shrimp surround the fissure, but even they cannot stand temperatures of more than 100°C; the white coating, however, is made up of microbes that can. Scientists are studying this site partly to understand the origin of life on this planet and the conditions under which life might exist beyond Earth. (Photo by Chris German and the Jason Group, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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