Robot arm taking a sample of a hydrothermal vent

Robot arm taking a sample of a hydrothermal vent

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Credit: B. MURTON/SOUTHAMPTON OCEANOGRAPHY CENTRE/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Black smoker vent sampling. View of a robot arm removing a piece of a hydrothermal vent on the mid-Atlantic ridge. These features are several kilometres beneath the surface of the Atlantic ocean. These vents, commonly called "black smokers", emit dark, sulphurous mineral-rich water at temperatures of hundreds of degrees Celsius. This water is heated by geothermal energy from the movement of the Earth's crust. Deep sea vents provide an unusual habitat to some primitive forms of extremophile bacteria and crabs (one at lower right, white) which can survive the immense pressure and huge range of temperatures.

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Keywords: arm, black smoker, black smoker sample, bottom, deep sea vent, ecosystem, hydrothermal, hydrothermal vent, ocean floor, robot, robot arm, robot arm sample, sampling, sea bed, seabed vent, vent, vent sampling, vents

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