Strange ecosystem discovered beneath the ocean's hellish hydrothermal vents

Originally published at: Strange ecosystem discovered beneath the ocean's hellish hydrothermal vents | Boing Boing




It’s things like this that give me some comfort about our long-term effect on the earth. We may be able to wipe out a lot of life along with ourselves but we definitely won’t get all of it.


How well-studied can it be if the big innovation here was flipping over a few rocks?

I mean, when you’re looking for new creepy-crawlies that’s a time-tested move that even children usually figure out from a young age.


Life finds Amway.

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Wake up babe, a new ancient virus just dropped.


I’m sure there are a ton of viruses in this environment, but none of them are at all likely to be adapted to deal with people or even mammals. The places you expect to find those are where humans are exposed to lots of other mammals, like bats and the wet markets that were considered likely sources for Covid-19.

And yet somehow people keep talking like the former are where we should worry about getting new diseases from, and the latter are hard to believe as a source… :frowning:


From the end of the article:

Bright and her colleagues hope that shedding more light on the inner workings of hydrothermal vent ecosystems will help shield them from development. These areas are of potential interest to deep-sea mining companies because of the minerals that leach out of the magma-heated water as it gushes out of the vents.

That economic incentive could endanger one of the planet’s most unique environments, a realm that Bright says scientists still struggle to comprehend. “From our view these vents are very extreme and exotic,” she says. “But for the animals, it’s not extreme to live at these pressures with fluctuating temperatures and fluctuating chemistry—it’s normal.”

The Scaly-Foot Snail is found at sites deeper than 2400 meters, but it was added to the Red List less than two decades after discovery.


Are you trying to bring me down? Anyway, microbial life was here long before we were and it will be here long after. That gives me some comfort, regardless of what happens to the Scaly-Foot Snails.

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