Living Fossils of the Atacama Trench

Methane Seeps | Living Fossils of the Atacama Trench | Video Update

ROV SuBastian / Schmidt Ocean Institute
Jun. 10 2024

Searching for tiny bubbles of methane percolating from the seafloor in the deep Ocean takes a dedicated team of scientists and engineers, a robotic guide, and a healthy dose of patience and persistence. During the #AtacamaTrenchAncients expedition, an international team of scientists searched for and found the deepest methane seep documented off the coast of Chile.

Deep sea environments lack sunlight to drive photosynthesis, and many organisms rely on chemosynthesis, where microbes and other organisms generate energy for survival from reactions involving inorganic chemicals, such as methane. A better understanding of these processes could unlock answers to the origins of life on Earth and elsewhere on other worlds.

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