Scientists investigating microbial life at volcanic vents discovered the most amazing marine landscapes of the seabed off the coast of California. Just look at this:
An international team, led by badociate professor at the University of Georgia, Samantha Joye, set out to explore sites in the north and south of the Gulf of California, badyzing how microorganisms live in the hot waters of vents. These images come from ROV SuBastian, a remotely operated submarine that can take samples and images of the area around these vents, operated from the research vessel of the Schmidt Ocean Institute, Falkor.
"We discovered remarkable towers where each surface was occupied by some kind of life. "The vibrant colors found in the" living rocks "were surprising, reflecting a diversity in biological composition and mineral distributions," Joye said in a press release.
Scientists are collecting microbes and badyzing their DNA from the ship using hand-held sequencers, according to the Schmidt Ocean Institute website, and then switching to more advanced equipment on the ground. They visited eight sites in the gulf.
But the team was visiting more than just microbes, they also discovered incredible geological formations. That included ore towers as high as 23 meters (75.5 feet) high and 10 meters (33 feet) wide. The colorful towers contained metals and sulfur and vented incredibly hot fluids (366 degrees Celsius or 690 Fahrenheit) but still thrived with microbial life. The hotter fluid also seemed to accumulate in parts of the tower, creating mirror effects of another world.
The results of the investigation are still to come. But damn it, what we've seen so far is pretty impressive.