Wildlife & Habitat

Inactive sulfur chimney

Inactive ornamented sulfur chimneys. This one is sitting on end in the middle of a huge field of tubeworms. 

Submarine Ring of Fire 2006 Exploration, NOAA Vents Program 


One mud sample taken from Challenger Deep by oceanographers from the Kaiko yielded approximately 200 different microorganisms. It is an extreme environment, under 16,000 pounds per square inch of hydrostatic pressure. The ocean floor at such depth consists of a type of pelagic sediment known as biogenous "ooze." Biogenic pelagic sediment is composed of the shells (tests, frustules) of microscopic plankton, both animal (zooplankton) and plant (phytoplankton) plankton.