Hot springs on the ocean floor — an area populated by previously unknown life forms.
This is the conclusion drawn by researchers in the study of hydrothermal fields (bottom areas located near magma chambers) of the underwater mountain range in the Atlantic Ocean.
Deep-sea expedition found on the surface of the giant reef carbonate rocks of unusual organisms. Bacteria living in the strongly alkaline (pH = 9-11) medium at a temperature of 70-80 degrees Celsius, "eat" hydrogen and methane. They coexist with more complex living beings — round worms and shrimp.
"Strange" reef called "The Lost City." Oceanographers say that the "city" has little in common with the known high-temperature hydrothermal buildings — "black smokers." Last generate heated to 400 degrees Celsius water rich in carbon dioxide. In a strongly acidic medium "black smokers" live bacteria consume CO2.
Active learning "black smokers", long considered the only suitable place to live at great depths, began in 1977.
"The Lost City" was discovered five years ago. "The discovery shows how little we know about the ocean so far," — says Deborah Kelley of the University of Washington, who heads the research team of "Lost City."
News.Battery.Ru — Accumulator News, 08/03/2005 10:57