World’s deepest sea vents found in Cayman trough

| 12/04/2010

(BBC): What are believed to be the world’s deepest undersea volcanic vents have been discovered off the coast of the Cayman Islands. The vents, known as black smokers, were located over three miles down in the Cayman Trough. The volcanic chimneys spew out water hot enough to melt lead. Marine biologist Dr Jon Copley part of the team that discovered them said: "Seeing the world’s deepest black-smoker vents looming out of the darkness was awe-inspiring. Super-heated water was gushing out of their 2-storey-high mineral spires, more than 3 miles beneath the waves." The vent’s depth and isolation has raised hopes that new and exotic forms of life may be found basking in the warmth of the superheated mineral-rich water.

 

 

Category: Science and Nature

Comments (19)

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  1. peter milburn says:

    If memory serves me correctly the Trieste11 or 111 went down in this area  sometime in the mid to late 80’s (incidentally I think this was the same submersible that went to the bottom of the Marianas trench about 35,000ft)but was forced to abandon the mission due to mechanical problems.She was here in GT harbour and those of you who remember she was under very tight security especially at nite.She was on her support ship and stayed around for a day or two.Underwater exploration like this is a wonderful advancement for the future.I have long been a believer that there are many more things to be discovered right here under our very noses.So much medicine will more than likely be found eventually like so many have been found in our tropical forest regions.As usual it is up to us to not screw this region up like so many other areas around our fragile planet so lets not get too carried away with this discovery.

              Cayman is still one of the best areas in the world to live and learn so lets helpto keep it that way.WAKE UP GOVT>!!!!!!!!and implement protective legislation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The BBC UK report on this was more interested in the possibility of mining these vents as they are very mineral rich. Must be worth looking into as mining the sea bed is a lot more environmentally friendly than mining on land and could be a huge revenue source for Cayman if valuable minerals are found.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It would be benefit us if would could tap into that energy and free us of expensive diesel generated electricty and instead to clean and cheap geothermal electricity. They should investigate the hot vent off rum point too that could be our answer to cheap electricity.

    • Blogerator says:

      They did. Its not a hot vent. It is nothing like the vents this story refers to. The people who found it were snorkeling by it in just swim trunks if I remember the picture accompanying the story correctly. That’s not a hot vent, a hydrothermal vent, like you would require to make electricity.

      • Anonymous says:

        They do not make steam from water exiting a hydrothermal vent they drill thousands of feet to the superheated rock and pump water down which returns as steam, therefore even if water at the surface maybe safe to swim in doesn’t mean the rock at 10,000 ft is going to be the same temperature.

  4. Anonymous says:

     People.  Please.  Vents like this are all over the world. This one is just the DEEPEST.  Three miles down, in fact.  NOT responsible for heating the ocean, nor accessible to anyone without a well-equipped submarine.  Still interesting, though. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hotter waters mean more intese hurricanes, not good

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hmm,  wouldn’t that mean hotter waters and more intense hurricanes.

    • Blogerator says:

      Except there is no evidence that these hydrothermal vents have recently emerged therefore they are no more increasing the water temperature now (much less the surface water temperature three miles up, which is what influences hurricanes I believe) than they have been for the last umpteen years. There will be no link between these and changes in hurricane patterns.

  7. NHB says:

    Wasn’t this trench explored by the National Geographic in the early 80’s so whatever this guy is finding we already knew was there and have already seen if he find some oil down there let us all know that because I got a feeling that is what they are looking for more than new forms of life 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Technology has advanced in the last 30 years. More than likely NatGeo couldn’t get down that far.

  8. Conspiracy Theorist says:

    Does this mean that our waters are unsuitable to dump their nuclear waste? 

  9. anonymous says:

    Maybe we have one of the world’s biggest treasures, a Natural Mineral bath.  Come on down to the Caymans for your healing everyone.  We don’t need any concrete Hospital for that.  This should be our biggest Tourist attraction! Any wonder the stingrays are sticking around?

  10. Anonymous says:

    very interesting !!

  11. Anonymous says:

    cool!