June 19, 2013 2:45 pm
Nearly a mile and a half beneath the waves, the Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents are home to an array of weird deep-sea creatures, and they’re one of the birthplaces of the planet’s crust. Located 155 miles southwest of Canada’s Vancouver Island, the Endeavour Hydrothermal Vents are a site of sea floor spreading, where volcanic activity produces the new rock that will line the expanding Pacific Ocean floor. Now you can see exactly what that looks like, thanks to a live webcam affixed to a submarine. Launched from a port in Seattle last week a research ship equipped with a robotic deep-sea submarine is headed out to the Endeavour vents for the next few weeks. As part of the research cruise, the team is streaming back live footage of their robot’s journeys.
The cruise’s main goal is to repair and install some new cabling at research sites around the northeast Pacific, but the live stream should prove to be far more exciting than the task. The Endeavour site is stuffed with billowing hydrothermal vents, specialized tube worms, and deep-sea spiders.
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