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Extremophiles and deep sea ecosystems
Pompeii worms have been found to thrive in scorching temperatures of up to 80°C around deep sea hydrothermal vents, making them one of the most heat-tolerant complex animals known to science. At the surface of the ocean, water becomes steam at 100°C degrees centigrade. However, down in the deep sea under extreme pressures, water remains liquid at temperatures as hot as 400°C. Even here, in waters loaded with hydrogen sulphides (usually toxic for life) living creatures can be found. These organisms are known as extremophiles; they do not need the Sun’s rays for energy, but instead use symbiotic bacteria to convert the chemicals in waters into energy. These bacteria are the foundation of deep sea food chains for which over 500 species depend. First broadcast in the series 'The Blue Planet' in 2001.
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