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View Full Version : 25th anniversary of the discovery of new life on earth



Gigabyte
2017-Apr-15, 12:34 AM
http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/ventcd/vent_discovery/

Pretty darn cool. A whole bunch of life discovered, just 40 years ago.

Torsten
2017-Apr-15, 12:49 AM
Pretty darn cool. A whole bunch of life discovered, just 25 years ago.

Cool, indeed.

Something seemed wrong as I read it, I thought we knew about this more than 25 years ago, and then I realized those webpages are almost 15 years old. Also cool that it's still on the web. ;)

01101001
2017-Apr-15, 01:39 AM
February 1977, so circa 40 years ago from now.

I knew a later-day Alvin driver. I still have my hard plastic thimble that was a styrofoam cup until it took a deep ride on the outside of Alvin.

Gigabyte
2017-Apr-15, 02:00 AM
I edited the OP, my mistake. Still cool and all.

KaiYeves
2017-Apr-15, 08:37 PM
February 1977, so circa 40 years ago from now.

I knew a later-day Alvin driver. I still have my hard plastic thimble that was a styrofoam cup until it took a deep ride on the outside of Alvin.

One of my oceanography professors in undergrad had a few on her desk, she even let me touch them! (I think because she felt bad for me, I had a hard time in the course because I hadn't known it was graduate-level when I signed up with no previous geophysics experience. I didn't get good grades, but I learned a lot!)

A few years ago, I read Jacques Piccard's The Sun Beneath The Sea, published in 1971 and describing the 1969 voyage of the submarine Ben Franklin (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Franklin_(PX-15)). (I highly recommend it for any underwater exploration nerds) At one point, Piccard writes that all life on Earth, in the sea or on land, depends on the sun, and I mentally shouted "What?!? No, chemosynthesis! Hydrothermal vents!"

Then I checked the publication date again and I realized why he'd made that mistake. It blows my mind that we went to the moon and the bottom of the Marianas Trench before we discovered that these ecosystems existed. If they had been discovered 10 or 15 years earlier, I wonder if it could have been the impetus for the creation of a "wet NASA" directing all underwater exploration programs in the US that a lot of oceanographers in the 60s hoped would be created instead of the scattering of programs between different agencies that actually came about.

(I know when I was doing a report for that same class, I found a paper that mentioned an expedition that had almost photographed a vent community several years before 1977 but passed just slightly too far away or something like that. I can't find the paper now...)

Squink
2017-Apr-16, 07:06 PM
Giant Tube Worms (https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&biw=1273&bih=662&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=giant+tube+worms&oq=giant+tube+worms&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i8i30k1l2j0i24k1l4.14554.17558.0. 18309.10.10.0.0.0.0.137.1089.0j9.9.0....0...1c.1.6 4.img..1.9.1085...0i7i30k1j0i7i10i30k1j0i8i7i30k1. 5XrlCHd6E0Y).
Way cool back in the day, still cool today.

Gigabyte
2017-Apr-16, 10:04 PM
I still have my hard plastic thimble that was a styrofoam cup until it took a deep ride on the outside of Alvin. Seriously? I want a pic now.


.. and I mentally shouted "What?!? No, chemosynthesis! Hydrothermal vents!"
Considering we have found life in the most extreme environments (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/deep-life-rock-kilometre-down-1.3351408), and life doesn't even need sunlight, it makes one wonder what's out there ... or down there (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20151124-meet-the-strange-creatures-that-live-in-solid-rock-deep-underground).

Gigabyte
2017-Apr-16, 10:07 PM
Cool creatures in the dark

the very hot dark as well

http://www.realmonstrosities.com/2012/02/hell-as-habitat-part-2.html

Shaula
2017-Apr-17, 06:23 AM
Seriously? I want a pic now.
It's quite a tradition:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/science/25cups.html
https://www.whoi.edu/atlantis117/feb14.html (at the bottom of the page)
https://blogs.haverford.edu/hkwlab/2010/12/10/rest-work-work-work/styrofoam-cups/

KaiYeves
2017-Apr-17, 07:03 AM
It's quite a tradition:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/science/25cups.html
https://www.whoi.edu/atlantis117/feb14.html (at the bottom of the page)
https://blogs.haverford.edu/hkwlab/2010/12/10/rest-work-work-work/styrofoam-cups/

You can also see the same principle illustrated with a foam mannequin head in a pressure chamber in The Second Voyage of the Mimi.

publiusr
2017-Apr-29, 07:57 PM
Giant Tube Worms (https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&biw=1273&bih=662&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=giant+tube+worms&oq=giant+tube+worms&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i8i30k1l2j0i24k1l4.14554.17558.0. 18309.10.10.0.0.0.0.137.1089.0j9.9.0....0...1c.1.6 4.img..1.9.1085...0i7i30k1j0i7i10i30k1j0i8i7i30k1. 5XrlCHd6E0Y).
Way cool back in the day, still cool today.

It's what I remember Bob Ballard for--more even than Titanic.

KaiYeves
2017-Apr-29, 09:31 PM
It's what I remember Bob Ballard for--more even than Titanic.

I'm doing a presentation about the prehistoric sea level changes in the Black Sea for my European Prehistory class, and yesterday I was amassing sources and came across one paper he had published about 15 years ago about his own investigations of the subject-- I clicked the link to his author listing (R. D. Ballard) and was delighted to see that even though he's not in the public eye as much anymore, he's been an author on six papers this decade. Not too bad for a guy in his 70s!

publiusr
2017-Apr-30, 07:46 PM
I wonder just how many smokers there were when Earth was warmer and younger.

lbeck
2017-May-01, 02:45 AM
I wonder if there are smokers at the bottom the oceans of Europa or Enceladus.

Spacedude
2017-May-01, 02:19 PM
I wonder what giant tube worms taste like ;-)

BigDon
2017-May-03, 04:01 PM
Probably taste like flatulence due to the sulfur content.

swampyankee
2017-May-03, 04:55 PM
I think this was about the same time that scientists reported unique bacteria at the bottom of a 6 km-deep borehole, living in microcracks within the rock.

Please don't say "life can't...." too definitively.