30 years of Hydrothermal Vents


Scientists from around the world will attend a meeting in the Galapagos Islands at the end of June to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the deep-sea hydrothermal vent system. The meeting will address recent issues in vent science, including plans to mine remnants of these chemosynthetic ecosystems using deep-sea gold-diggers.

Hydrothermal vents introduced the idea of chemosynthesis as a precondition for life to a broad spectrum of society back in the late 70’s when alternative lifestyles were gaining widespread acceptance. Before that time photosynthesis was the most commonly held metabolic pathway.

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Photo: French ROV Victor 6000 sampling black smokers. Credit: Daniel Desbruyeres.