'Jacuzzi of Despair' Found Beneath the Gulf of Mexico
Zhai Yun Tan - The Christian Science Monitor
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November 2, 2016
Brine Pool: Jacuzzi of Despair | Nautilus Live (EVNautilus)
Scientists have found a lake under an ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, dubbing it the "Jacuzzi of Despair" for its high salt content and temperature that has killed creatures who accidentally fall into it.
The "crater-like, circular, brine-filled pool" rises about 10 feet above the seafloor, with brine pouring out of one side in a "spectacular waterfall," according to the findings published in the journal Oceanography. The water in the pool is four to five times saltier than in the surrounding ocean and its temperature is nearly twice as warm.
"It was one of the most amazing things in the deep sea," said Erik Cordes, associate professor of biology at Temple University in Philadelphia, who discovered the site along with several colleagues. "You go down into the bottom of the ocean and you are looking at a lake or a river flowing. It feels like you are not on this world," he told Seeker.
The rare undersea toxic pool offers scientists a chance to examine life in extreme conditions, determining what marine and microbial life have adapted to high temperature and salty environments. It may provide a hint to life on foreign planets with similar conditions.
Read the rest at The Christian Science Monitor
Related: The Ocean Is Losing Its Breath – and Climate Change Is Making It Worse (The Conversation)
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