The reality of what lies beneath the ocean has fascinated people since time immemorial, so it’s no wonder we’ve created countless myths about its depths.
But, taking a step aside, atlantisscientists have discovered a real lost city beneath the waves, and this one is teaming up with life.
This rocky, towering landscape lies hundreds of meters below the Atlantic Ocean, west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Mountains, and is made up of massive walls, columns, and monoliths over 60 meters (200 feet) high.
To be clear, this is not the home of a long-forgotten human civilization, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
Discovered in 2000 and dubbed the “Lost City,” this hydrothermal field is the longest-lasting eruption environment known in the ocean. science alertI will report.
Nothing like it has been found anywhere else on Earth, and experts believe it could provide insight into ecosystems that may exist elsewhere in the universe. .
For more than 120,000 years, snails, crustaceans, and microbial communities have fed through vents in this field, spewing hydrogen, methane, and other dissolved gases into the surrounding water.
Larger animals such as crabs, shrimp, and eels also survive in this extreme environment, despite the lack of oxygen there. True, although they are rare.
The hydrocarbons produced by its vents were not produced by sunlight or carbon dioxide, but by chemical reactions far below the ocean floor.
This is how life on our planet may have originated around 3.7 billion years ago, and it shows how it may have formed on other planets as well.
“This is an example of the kind of ecosystem that could be active at this very moment on Enceladus or Europa,” said microbiologist William Brazelton. smithsonian museum Back in 2018, they referred to the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, respectively.
“And there was probably Mars in the past too.”
(Left) Exploring the Lost City’s spire with a remote-controlled vehicle. (Right) Bacteria living in calcite vents(D. Kelly/University of Washington)
The tallest monolith in the Lost City, named Poseidon after the Greek god of the sea, is over 60 meters high.
Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Washington say there is a cliff just northeast of the tower where vents “weep” with fluid and “extend outward like the fingers of an upturned hand, delicate and prolific.” It is said to produce “clumps of branched carbonate growth.” .
There are now calls for Lost Cities to be declared a World Heritage Site in order to protect the natural phenomenon, especially given the human tendency to destroy precious ecosystems.
Poland in 2018 won the right Mining the deep sea around the thermal field.
And although, in theory, Lost Cities would never touch such a work, science alert Be aware that destruction of the surroundings can have unexpected consequences.
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