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Bacterial flocs suspended in the water column at East Pacific Rise (EPR) following a volcanic eruption in 1991. These bacteria and other heat-loving bacteria are the basis of ecosystems found in these harsh deep-sea environments. Deep in the ocean, there is no sunlight and organisms are subjected to extreme temperature and pressure. Hot mineral-rich water escaping the seafloor at sites along the Mid-Ocean Ridges contains chemicals that are used by bacteria to create biological energy.
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Investigator: Daniel Fornari
Chief Scientist: Daniel Fornari