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6 Tubeworms

Tubeworms grow near the boundary of where the hot vent fluid mixes with the cold seawater. These strange creatures can grow over 2.4 meters (8 feet tall). Tubeworms lack a mouth or stomach and instead have billions of symbiotic bacteria living in their red plumes. The tubeworm helps collect chemicals that the bacteria need from the water, and the bacteria convert it into sugars that the tubeworm can use for energy.

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1. Hydrothermal Vent 2. Vent Formation 3. Human Occupied Submersible 4. Anemone 5. Zoarcid Fish 6. Tubeworms 7. Crabs 8. Clams & Mussels 9. Pompeii Worm
Sea Vent Viewer
Explore the illustration or click on a number to learn more about a particular part of the process.

Credit: Nicolle Rager, National Science Foundation