Hydrothermal Vent

Hottest Life Form Found: Microbe Thrives When Boiling

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 21, 2004   View Article

Some can take the heat better than others. Scientists have discovered a deep-sea microbe that continues to grow and reproduce inside a high-pressure oven heated to 121 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit). Now they’re wondering just how much heat the hardiest life-forms can take.

The microbe, known unofficially as Strain 121, is found where most such heat-loving microbes are found—several miles beneath the ocean surface, snuggled up in the walls of hydrothermal vents that spew mineral-enriched, scalding water.

Hotbed of Volcanic Activity Found Beneath Arctic Ocean

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 25, 2003   View Article

Findings reported from the first ever detailed exploration of the Gakkel Ridge—the northernmost segment of the worldwide mid-ocean ridge system that snakes for 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) beneath the Arctic Ocean—underscore the waiting discoveries on the frontiers of Earth science.

For decades scientists longingly eyed the Gakkel Ridge. But since it lies beneath a cover of sea ice, access to it has been limited. Apart from a single submarine study, much of what was known about the undersea region’s geology was extrapolated from studies of other, more accessible, ocean ridges.

Hydrothermal Vents Found in Arctic Ocean

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 23, 2003   View Article

Marine scientists surveying an unexplored mountain range deep beneath the Arctic Ocean have discovered at least nine hydrothermal vents on the Gakkel Ridge, a mid-ocean mountain range that snakes for 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) from high above Greenland to Siberia.

Scientists say the underwater hotspots may potentially host unique forms of life previously unknown to science.

Group of Microbes Change Dissolved Gold to Solid

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 30, 2001   View Article

Breathing is a rich experience for a group of unusual microbes that typically live deep beneath the sea.

A microbiologist has found that microscopic organisms known as extremophiles breathe in dissolved gold and out comes the stuff of gold rings, necklaces, and earrings. The finding may explain how some gold ore deposits formed.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach