B. MURTON / SOUTHAMPTON OCEANOGRAPHY CENTRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY B. MURTON / SOUTHAMPTON OCEANOGRAPHY CENTRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hydrothermal bacterial mat on an underwater volcanic vent. This bacterial mat is growing on or near a volcanic vent on the seabed. The heat and minerals provide an energy source that supports an ecology of organisms adapted to these conditions, including these bacteria. The minerals form multicoloured crusts around the vent, causing them to grow into tall chimneys over time. Photographed in the Caribbean in 2010, using the remotely controlled HyBIS (Hydraulic Benthic Interactive Sampler) submersible. This submersible was operated by researchers from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, UK.
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