the best science on the web about
hydrothermal vents

Vents and Volcanoes
Image: NOAA/Ocean Explorer

Vents and Volcanoes

The most unique habitats on Earth can be found miles below the ocean's surface surrounding hydrothermal vents. The vents spew superheated water and chemicals, giving life to amazing plants and animals that survive without ever seeing the sun.

Begin your journey to the depths of the ocean with this video.

NOAA
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Odd Deep-Sea Creatures Found at Volcanoes, Canyons

Odd Deep-Sea Creatures Found at Volcanoes, Canyons

Bizarre creatures have been discovered living in the extreme conditions around hydrothermal vents. See the "Mickey Mouse" squid, hairy lobster, a fish that looks like a tongue, and more. More...

Images
National Geographic
Profile: Sang-Mook Lee

Profile: Sang-Mook Lee

Meet an inspiring marine geophysicist who studies underwater earthquakes and volcanoes. He's also known as the "Stephen Hawking of South Korea." More...

Profile
NOVA/PBS
Deep Sea Vents: Cindy Lee Van Dover

Deep Sea Vents: Cindy Lee Van Dover

Meet an oceanographer who's researching the ecology of deep-sea vent communities. Van Dover was the first female pilot of the Alvin submersible. More...

Profile
AMNH
Deep Sea Vents: Science at the Extreme

Deep Sea Vents: Science at the Extreme

The environment around a hydrothermal vent may be the most extreme on Earth. Temperatures can reach 760º F! What could live there? Find out. More...

Article
National Geographic
Fool’s Gold Fertilizes Ocean

Fool’s Gold Fertilizes Ocean

Thar's gold in them thar ocean vents! Well, not real gold, but what's known as fool's gold. While it may not be worth much to us, it's very valuable to the ocean life around the vents. More...

Video
NOAA
Hydrothermal Vents

Hydrothermal Vents

The discovery of underwater hydrothermal vents uncovered many new life forms. Watch this look at the first expedition. More...

Video
National Geographic
Hydrothermal Vents

Hydrothermal Vents

Journey to the depths of the ocean to learn about black smokers, white smokers, hydrothermal vents, and the strange creatures that live in these habitats. More...

Article
BBC
Into the Abyss

Into the Abyss

In 1998, two research vessels set out to do something never done before — remove a hydrothermal vent chimney from the ocean floor. Take an in-depth look at the expedition. More...

Interactive
NOVA/PBS
Is It Alive?

Is It Alive?

Can you identify the living from the nonliving objects clinging to hydrothermal vents on the sea floor? More...

Interactive
AMNH
Photosynthesis vs. Chemosynthesis

Photosynthesis vs. Chemosynthesis

Most living organisms rely on photosynthesis, but sunlight doesn't reach the bottom of the ocean. Investigate the similar process of chemosynthesis to discover how deep-sea microbes get their energy. More...

Interactive
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The Blue Planet: Deep Surprises

The Blue Planet: Deep Surprises

Who needs the sun? Not these living creatures. They can live under extreme pressure, in water as hot as 400°C, and with poisonous chemicals. More...

Video
BBC
Vent Basics

Vent Basics

What's the difference between a black smoker and a white smoker? How are hydrothermal vent chimneys formed? Find out here. More...

Interactive
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
World’s Deepest Undersea Vents Discovered in Caribbean

World’s Deepest Undersea Vents Discovered in Caribbean

Check out this video of black smoker hydrothermal vents discovered in the Caribbean Sea. Located more than 3 miles below the surface, they're the deepest vents ever found. More...

Video
BBC

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