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Black Smoker Hydrothermal Vent Indian Ocean
Hydrothermal vents typically form along mid-ocean ridges, near geological hotspots. They provide the means for the transportation of heat and chemicals from deep within the Earth's interior. The Earth is geologically active and the deep ocean environment is no exception. Even in its depths, our planet is "inhaling and exhaling" through its vast, diverse geological systems.
Black smoker hydrothermal vents were first discovered in 1979, by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. They have been found to be an oasis for some very unusual life. This life is not driven by energy from the Sun, but rather from smoky chemicals precipitating into the water that bathe the organisms that feed on these precipitates, as an energy source (chemoautotophy). They are now known to be hosts to a number of organisms, including albino crabs, eels, clams, and bacteria that feed giant tube worms. The faint light glowing from black smokers are used by some bacteria for photosynthesis.
Black smoker chimney vent material is different from the white smokers (see "White Smokers" elsewhere on our website). There is controversy about whether the black or white smokers were more suitable for the evolution of life. White smokers are more alkaline and profile a different, more alkaline chemistry.
This specimen is from the Rodriguez Triple Junction (RTJ), Central Indian Ridge, Indian Ocean. Locality: 22 degrees 39 minutes South, 69 degrees 24 minutes East, Depth 3300 meters.
Even without magnification the yellow pyrite cubes and tiny hydrothermal pores can be seen.
Specimen size: 31mm H X 21mm W X 16mm D. Ships with information and Certificate of Authenticity.
Makes a fantastic addition to a top-notch geological collection.
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