An unexpected underwater landscape
Take a look at this map of the Earth. Most of the planet is covered with water—and that's just the surface area. Imagine the huge volume of water beneath that expanse of blue! The bottom of the ocean is covered with mountains, valleys, volcanoes, and canyons, much like the part of the Earth we inhabit.
Life where you least expect it
In 1977, scientists discovered hydrothermal vents on the deep ocean floor. These vents spew out fluids that are superheated by molten rocks beneath the seabed; fluids that in some places are hot enough to melt lead. Incredibly, dense communities of living creatures thrive in these sunless, superheated, mineral-rich waters—conditions once considered inhospitable to life.Next Mid-Ocean Ridges