You know what’s mysterious? Deep sea vents. More than 1000 meters below sea level — often more than 1 mile deep – where there is not a hint that such a thing as light even exists, where darkness is absolute, and where water pressure is more than 250 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level (for scale, pressure cookers cook food at 2 times atmospheric pressure), thermal jets spew 662℉ (330℃) water into the frigid deep sea.
In this hostile (to us) environment, life flourishes. Tube worms 9-feet long sway in the blackness, in noxious, hydrogen-sulfide rich water. Shrimp and limpets, bacteria and mollusks, feather duster worms, crabs, fish and octopus all live in these deep, dark, wild places.
Some theorize that hydrothermal vents, not shallow pools, may have been the origin of life on earth (Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Nature Ecology and Evolution). You know where else has hydrothermal vents? Places that aren’t earth.
It’s hard to wrap my head life collecting around chemicals instead of light. As a human, I compare everything to my own experience, and the extreme dark, chemical-rich, high-pressure, magma-hot and ice-cold deep sea waters are not anything like my own experience. Which is why it’s so cool that life exists, and potentially even originated, in such a place. Think of the possibilities!
This is my response to Bloganuary prompt 19, Write about something mysterious.