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Ancient black smokers

Part of Hall of Planet Earth.

Ancient Black Smokers AMNH/R.Mickens

Just as they form today at the mid-ocean ridges, the sulfide chimneys that were to become the ores of the Kidd Creek mine, in Ontario, Canada, were forming on the seafloor 2.7 billion years ago. Rock samples from this ancient ore deposit contain the same iron, zinc, and copper-iron sulfide minerals, and have the same textures, as those found in modern black smokers.