YouTube Galapagos Islands
This week, it debuted a video on YouTube showing three bizarre creatures encountered on an exploration of deep sea thermal vents off the coast of the Galapagos Islands (near Ecuador.)Deep sea hydrothermal vents are areas of the sea floor where hot gases rise up from below the Earth’s crust. Their discovery in 1977 showed scientists that life can exist even in the harshest conditions. Around these hydrothermal vents, temperatures can reach 750º F and there's limited oxygen. Instead, bacteria living near the vents converts the harmful gases expelled by the underwater geysers into more usable compounds that the highly specialized animals living in the area can eat and breathe.
Deep sea creatures are something of a mystery to science, as we’ve seen before. Given the great expense and challenge of deep sea exploration, many of the species of animals researchers encounter are totally new to science or not well described and understood.