The reality of what lies within our oceans has fascinated people since time immemorial, so it’s no wonder we’ve created countless myths about its underwater depths.
But step aside, Atlantis, scientists have discovered a real lost city beneath the waves, and this city is in tune with life.
This towering rocky area is located west of the Mid-Atlantic Mountain Range, hundreds of meters below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, and consists of massive walls, columns and monoliths extending to a height of more than 60 meters (200 feet).
To be clear, it’s not home to some long-forgotten human civilization, but that doesn’t make its existence any less important.
The hydrothermal field, which was called the “Lost City” when it was discovered in 2000, is the longest-lived ocean vent environment known. Science AlertReports.
Nothing else like it has been found on Earth, and experts believe it could provide insight into ecosystems that could exist elsewhere in the universe.
For more than 120,000 years, snails, crustaceans and microbial communities have fed from the field’s vents, which vent hydrogen, methane and other dissolved gases into the surrounding waters.
Despite the absence of oxygen there, larger animals also live in this harsh environment, including crabs, shrimp and snakes. Although it is rare.
The hydrocarbons produced by its vents were not caused by sunlight or carbon dioxide, but by chemical reactions on the seafloor.
This is how life may have formed on our planet about 3.7 billion years ago, and how it could have formed on another planet.
“This is an example of the kind of ecosystem that could be active on Enceladus or Europa at this moment,” microbiologist William Brazelton said. Smithsonian Back in 2018, referring to the moons of Saturn and Jupiter respectively.
“And perhaps Mars in the past.”
(Left) The Lost City’s towers are explored by remotely operated vehicle; (Right) Bacteria living on a calcite vent(Dr. Kelly/University of Washington)
The tallest monolith in the Lost City is named Poseidon, after the Greek god of the sea, and stands more than 60 meters high.
Meanwhile, just northeast of the tower, there is a slope where vents “weep” with fluid, producing “clusters of tiny, multi-branched carbonate outgrowths that extend outward like the fingers of upturned hands,” according to researchers at the University of Washington. .
There are now calls for the Lost City to be listed as a World Heritage Site to protect the natural phenomenon, especially in light of humans’ tendency to destroy precious ecosystems.
Back in 2018, it was confirmed that Poland had done so He won the rights For deep sea mining around the thermal field.
While, in theory, the Lost City would not be affected by such actions, e.g Science Alert He notes that destroying surrounding areas may have unintended consequences.
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