Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Researchers aboard the R/V Atlantis exploring hydrothermal vents on the Cayman Rise—a mountainous ridge in the Caribbean Sea—were treated to a visual feast when a magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck 100 miles away. Using a remotely operated vehicle called Jason, the scientists were observing thousands of deep-sea shrimp crawling around a hydrothermal vent, feeding on microbes that live on the chemicals in the hot, mineral-rich water.
When the quake strikes—at around 0:37 in the video posted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)—the shrimp swarm explodes in slow motion. The observation provides a glimpse of how seismic activity impacts hydrothermal vents—and in turn, the deep-sea creatures they support.
Check out the video below. You can also find out more about the WHOI and what their researchers got up to in 2019 in the institution’s “Year in Review” video. If you haven’t already seen it, be sure to watch NOAA scientists’ amazing footage of a deep-sea feeding frenzy when a shark is swallowed whole by a large wreckfish.
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