Why are Vents Important?
Vents are thought to regulate the temperature and chemical composition of the oceans and provide an outlet for the earth's inner heat.
Archaea, a new domain of life, as well as many new species have been discovered in vent communities.
Vent research helps us understand the past and deal with the future by providing:
- clues to the origin of life on Earth and elsewhere in our solar system
- possible mineral sources
- a promise of medical and industrial breakthroughs
- a dialog on the ethics of vent exploration, exploitation, and protection
- Vent water can reach 403° Celsius (757° F).
- Vent creatures thrive on hydrogen sulfide, usually a deadly poison.
- Vent oil similar to petroleum appears to form in thousands rather than millions of years.
- Not all vents and vent communities are alike.
Permission to Descend!
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