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Black smoker

A black smoker is a hydrothermal vent, a geyser on the ocean floor. Black smokers are known to exist in the Atlantic ocean and the Pacific ocean, at an average depth of 2100 meters. The temperature of the hot water they vent can reach 400 °C, which does not boil due to the high pressure at that depth. They also vent minerals dissolved in the water, often iron and sulfide[?], which can react to iron monosulfide[?], giving the geyser its distinct black color.

History The first black smokers were discovered in 1977.

Biology In spite of the sparse life in these depths, black smokers are the center of whole ecosystems. The heat and sulfur compounds they provide can be used by archaea, extremophile unicellular organisms. Higher lifeforms, like clams and tubeworms[?], can in turn feed on the archaea.



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