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Press Release 11-091

"Fool's Gold" from The Deep is Fertilizer for Ocean Life

Pyrite nanoparticles from hydrothermal vents are a rich source of iron in the deep sea

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Photo of a black smoker in the Pacific Ocean's Eastern Lau Spreading Center.

Black smoker from the Mariner vent site in the Pacific Ocean's Eastern Lau Spreading Center.

Credit: University of Delaware


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Transmission electron micrograph showing nanoparticles from the Pacific's Kilo Moana vent.

Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) showing nanoparticles from the Pacific's Kilo Moana vent.

Credit: University of Delaware


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Image of the submersible Alvin.

The submersible Alvin explored the role of "fool's gold," or pyrite, in the deep sea.

Credit: Mustafa Yucel


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Image of Jason II, a remotely operated vehicle.

Jason II, a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, was also used to sample pyrite nanoparticles.

Credit: Mustafa Yucel


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Image of Jason II's control room.

Jason II's control room, headquarters for remotely operated exploration of hydrothermal vents.

Credit: Mustafa Yucel


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