Deep-Sea Explorers Unveil A Psychedelic, Rainbow-Colored Seascape Wonderland

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In the Gulf of California, scientists have discovered an incredible, out-of-this-world, expanse of hydrothermal vents which are filled with “crystallized gases, glimmering pools of piping-hot fluids and rainbow-hued life-forms,” Live Science describes.

There are also towering structures that are made of minerals from the vents, and they are as tall as 75 feet or 23 meters.

A decade ago it seems that scientists who have been visiting this place did not see anything out of the ordinary here, and this place, this psychedelic seascape appears to have been formed around an increase in hydrothermal venting – these are spots in the seafloor where mineral-laden and super hot water jets out — in the last 10 years.

“Astonishing is not strong enough of a word,” said Mandy Joye, a marine biologist at the University of Georgia. She was the one who led the team that discovered the vents.

A truly shocking discovery

It seems that Joye and her team were analyzing microbial mats in the Guaymas Basin in the central Gulf of California back in 2018 when they conducted an autonomous vehicle survey nearby.

They were reportedly looking for some exciting sites to explore on their next research expedition.

“We saw a lot of really interesting topography, which made me scratch my head,” Joye said.

It’s also worth noting that there were chemical traces in the water which suggested there might be hydrothermal vents nearby.

After that, in February, the team managed to launch another expedition, and they sent autonomous vehicles which were equipped with HD cameras into the deep.

It was reported that at about 6,000 feet (1,800 m) below the surface, they saw the vents that were carpeted with microbes, marine worms and species they didn’t recognize.

‘It was a shock, to put it mildly,’ Joye told Live Science. ‘I think my jaw literally hit the floor.’ The environment was unreal as you will see in the photos in the original article.


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