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Life at Hydrothermal Vents

The first Web site is a NOVA Online Adventure from PBS (1). Into the Abyss decribes the "pitch darkness, poison gas, heavy metals, extreme acidity, and enormous pressure" found at hydrothermal vents, and offers a look at bizarre and fascinating creatures found in this environment. The next Web site from Exploring Earth, an online earth sciences text book, contains video clips taken during research expeditions along the Juan de Fuca Ridge (2). Ocean AdVENTure, a ThinkQuest Web site, offers a comprehensive and well-designed introduction to hydothermal vents from research tools to fauna to unsolved mysteries and more (3). Visitors can choose their own scientific adVENTure to explore hydrothermal vents in this interactive feature from the University of Washington School of Oceonagraphy Exploraquarium (4). Dive and Discover is "an interactive distance learning Web site designed to immerse you in the excitement of discovery and exploration of the deep seafloor." This Web site (5) extends a virtual invitation to join scientists aboard research cruises to the depth of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, providing daily logs, video, and other features for each expedition. The next Web site from the University of California-Berkeley offer a closer look at the "strange tube-dwelling worm" phylum found only near hydrothermal vents (6). Creature Features, provided by the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Science, contains descriptions and video clips of tubeworms, vent crabs, Pompeii crabs, and ancient bacteria found at deep sea vents (7). The last Web site (8) is a transcript of a June 1997 PBS NewsHour interview with science writer William Broad. Broad discusses his book The Universe Below: Discovering the Secrets of the Deep Sea, and relates the exciting opportunities for scientific exploration of the sea floor made possible by the end of the Cold War.
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