posted on Jul, 4 2004 @ 06:02 PM
I actually had to do a research paper on deep-sea hydrothermal vents last semester. Pretty amazing stuff scientists are learning near these spots!
The alternative to photosynthesis is called chemosynthesis. This is when bacteria or other living organisims use chemicals to convert into "food."
One research team found the presence of hydrogen sulfide and iron monosulfide, which react to one another to form pyrite and hydrogen gas. The
hydrogen provides the energy these organisms need to grow and survive.
Scientists are interested in these vents because they are very extreme environments, and if life can exsist around them there is a good chance that
life could exist elsewhere in our galaxy on planets which contain similar vents (given, of course, that the planet has water on it).
Really interesting stuff to say the least. So much more information on these vents. I would highly suggest doing some research on the subject if you
are interested in possible life on other planets, or if wierd stuff on our own planet floats your boat. Some really freaky, "alien" looking sealife
live down there too!