In a vent in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, researchers were astonished to find a living, six-sided creature with black dots that they had believed to be extinct for millions of years. The creature is remarkably similar in appearance to a fossil found in 40,000,000-year-old rock on land.
In Oman, geologists discovered a fossil of a tube worm from the Cretaceous age, about 100,000,000 years ago, similar to tube worms found in vents today.
In 1979, the Alvin recovered a barnacle unknown before, even as a fossil. This barnacle evolved 225,000,000 years ago. One author likens this find of a "living fossil" to netting a Tyrannosaurus rex.
The oldest vent fossils were found in Russia and date back to the Silurian period, 438,000,000 to 410,000,000 years ago. The fossils include large tubeworms, similar to tubeworms in modern vents, as well as bracheopods that have no known contemporary counterpart.