posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 01:12 PM
There are organisms which live very near to vents (also called Smokers), which are called extremophiles, due to their amazing ability to withstand
such extreme conditions. More speciaficaaly, the ones which live at the vents are called thermophiles.
It would be brilliant to be able to study a live one, but unfortunately we can't for a number of reasons:
1. Temperatures of around 300 degrees Celcius (Highest ever recorded was 403.C). Their enzymes would stop working as soon as you took them out of
their environment as the temperature in the sea is a lot lower than at vents.
2. Tremendous pressure - 300 atmospheres
3. Chemicals - hydrogen sulfide, the source of energy that fuels vent food webs and the most plentiful compound in vent emissions, is toxic to most
4. pH - vent fluid is very acidic with a pH as low as 2.8, which is very unhealthy for most living things.
To keep the conditions that these thermophiles require to survive would be a very difficult task, not to mention picking them off the vents in the
Here (hopefully) is an image of 'Methanococcus jannaschii', which was isolated near a smoker 2,600 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean.
Hope I somewhat educated someone, I don't like to think my knowledge and research is for nothing!!