Page 14: of Marine Technology Magazine (May 2019)

Underwater Defense Technology

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New View of the Ocean Floor

Otherworldly Mirror Pools, New Lifeforms, and Mesmerizing Landscapes Discovered on Ocean Floor cientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research eral towers that reach up to 23 meters in height and 10 meters vessel Falkor discovered and explored a hydrother- across. These towers featured numerous volcanic ? anges that mal ? eld at 2,000m depth in the Gulf of California create the illusion of looking at a mirror when observing the

Swhere towering mineral structures serve as biologi- superheated (366ºC) hydrothermal ? uids beneath them. The cal hotspots for life. These newly discovered geological for- minerals across the features were laden with metals and the mations feature upside down ‘mirror-like ? anges’ that act as ? uids were highly sul? dic, yet these sites were teeming with pooling sites for discharged ? uids. biodiversity and potentially novel fauna.

While exploring hydrothermal vent and cold seep environ- “We discovered remarkable towers where every surface was ments, Dr. Mandy Joye (University of Georgia), and her in- occupied by some type of life. The vibrant colors found on terdisciplinary research team discovered large venting min- the ‘living rocks’ was striking, and re? ects a diversity in bi-

The Oil Chimney Landscape.

Image: Schmidt Ocean Institute May 2019 14


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