Explorer of the Extreme Deep

A new project to build an improved research sub aims to shed light on the mysterious ocean depths.

By Emily Sohn, 00:00 AM November 2, 2004

It's dark at the bottom of the ocean. It's cold down there, too. There's no air to breathe. The water pressure is crushing. There may be creatures that could harm you.

Let's face it: The deep sea can be an unpleasant place.

Nonetheless, the watery depths hold an irresistible allure for many people. Enormous squid mingle with fantastic sponges, glowing shrimp, and fat worms. Black plumes bubbling out of the seafloor might hold the secret to the origins of life on Earth.

A temperature probe is placed in a black plume of superheated fluid. Such

A temperature prob...

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