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Life at Vents & Seeps


Move Over, Mars: The Search for Life on Saturn’s Largest Moon

Nautilus

Alien microbes could be flourishing in the underground seas of Titan and the solar system’s other ocean worlds. “The great thing about hydrothermal vents is that they provide a lot of energy sources for microbial life that doesn’t include sunlight,” says Julie Huber, a marine chemist at WHOI.

Life on an Ocean World

One of the most enduring questions humans have been asking for millennia is, “Are we alone in the Universe?” Now, we may have the opportunity to answer that question within the lifetime of the current human generation.

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ROV Jason captures underwater video during earthquake

In January and February 2020, scientists on R/V Atlantis explored hydrothermal vents on the Cayman Rise. They used the remotely operated vehicle Jason to get an up-close view of the vents and life around them. The vents lie on a seismically active part of the seafloor known as a mid-ocean ridge. Deep-sea shrimp swarm the vents, feeding on microbes that live on chemicals flowing from the vents. While they were there, a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck just 100 miles away. Scientists will now be able to study how seismic activity affects hydrothermal vents and the life around them.

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NASA eyes the ocean: How the deep sea could unlock outer space

The Christian Science Monitor

“When hydrothermal vents were discovered in 1977, it very much flipped biology on its end,” says Julie Huber, an oceanographer who studies life in and below the seafloor at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) on Cape Cod. “People knew that organisms could live off of chemical energy, but they didn’t imagine they could support animal ecosystems.”

Life at Vents & Seeps

What is Life at Vents and Seeps? Hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are places where chemical-rich fluids emanate from the…

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Postdoctoral Scholar Program

Eighteen-month Postdoctoral Scholar awards are offered to recipients of new or recent doctorates in the fields of chemistry, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, meteorology, physics, and biology as well as oceanography. The awards are designed to further the education and training of the applicant with primary emphasis placed on the individual’s research promise.

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Deep-Sea Images Give New View of Arctic Ocean Methane Seeps

Working with colleagues from the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE) in Norway, Dan Fornari from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) Geology & Geophysics Department collected nearly 30,000 high definition images at known methane release sites in the Arctic Ocean north of Norway.  The detailed images will provide new insights into the most remote areas of natural methane releases in the world.

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Bringing a Lab to the Seafloor

Bringing a Lab to the Seafloor

Scientists can’t really know if new oceanographic instruments will really work until they try them in actual conditions in the real ocean. In this case, the rubber hit the road at the bottom of the sea.

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New Museum Exhibit Explores Deep Ocean Environment

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in collaboration with the Ocean Explorium in New Bedford, Mass., has created new digital content for museum-based spherical display systems that brings high-definition images and video of dynamic, deep ocean ecosystems to the public.

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Alvin‘s Animals

Alvin's Animals

From orange octopi and furry yeti crabs to the largest known anemone, pilots and scientists diving in the Alvin submersible continue to find amazing marine creatures.

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