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Survey sheds light on dark, lost world
Bridie Smith, The Age, January 5, 2012
A lost world of Antarctic creatures that survive not on sun but hydrogen sulphide has been discovered deep beneath the Southern Ocean.
It’s the first time scientists have been able to explore the East Scotia Ridge on the sea floor of the Southern Ocean, near Antarctica.
Reported in the journal PLoS Biology this week, the find includes new species of yeti crab, starfish, barnacles, sea anemones and a pure-white octopus currently unknown to science. “The first survey of these particular vents, in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, has revealed a hot, dark, ‘lost world’ in which whole communities of previously unknown marine organisms thrive,” said Oxford University’s Alex Rogers, who led the research.
The creatures live in a dark world, heated by hydrothermal vents and “black smokers” which exist near volcanically active places where tectonic plates are moving apart. Hot springs and geysers are the land equivalent to deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Without the benefits of the sun, the creatures living in these biologically bountiful areas have evolved to rely on the chemicals such as hydrogen sulphide that are emitted from the vents. The chemicals are then converted into energy.
Evidence of the life-giving qualities of the boiling vents was best illustrated in the way yeti crabs—numbering in the thousands—congregated around the chimneys, where temperatures can reach up to 382 degrees.
Any hour now, the movie director Jim Cameron will attempt, by himself, to sink to the deepest spot on our planet, an ocean trench 6.78 miles below sea level, near the coast of the Philippines.
Only one living person has been there before him. And when that guy arrived where no human had ever been, what he said was…
“I’m afraid we didn’t have any profound words that could be written down somewhere,” U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh told the BBC. “It was a quiet moment. And then when we realized that we weren’t going to see anything, we called topside, and told them that we were coming up and started our way back to the surface.”
I had a random idea for deep sea exploration. I have no idea if this will work or if it’s even possible so if anyone could tell me that would be great.
What if we built a submarine with layered walls and in between each wall would be water. Say we had 4 walls with 3 layers of water in between them, on the outer layer the water would have a pressure close to but below the pressure of the water outside the sub, the middle layer would have less pressure than the outer layer, and the inner layer would have even less than the middle, finally we would have the actual place for people to be in.
I’m thinking with the lessening pressure in each layer the pressure from outside the sub would be reduced to a low enough point that the inner walls could withstand. The walls would have pumps to manage the pressure in each layer with the change in depth.
Again I am no expert on any of this and it was just an idea that popped into my head. Could this work? Is it even possible?