Hydrothermal Vents: A Precious Ocean Mystery Essay

Hydrothermal Vents: A Precious Ocean Mystery Essay

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You see a world like no other. Life is abundant and it is all around you. There are strange creatures living in conditions that are extremely deadly. Before 1997 this world existed unknown, lurking in the dark. The only way for you to see this world is to be in a specialized submarine, otherwise you would die from heat, pressure, and extreme levels of toxins. And yet, in the hostile conditions life not only exists, it thrives. That world is here on Earth and it is like no other. The strange world described above was the deep ocean. At depths up to 40,000 feet or more life is abundant around mysterious natural landforms known as hydrothermal vents. Despite the fragile, beautiful, important life at these hydrothermal vents many companies are looking at them as little more than deposits to strip bare for minerals. Samples have been taken and mineral rights have been given to companies to mine these vents. No full mining projects are under way just yet, but they are coming in the near future. If the mining of hydrothermal vents continues unique, important life forms will be destroyed along with the Earth's oceans. The technology used to extract the minerals is harmful to the ocean and its life forms. Also, some have looked at the hydrothermal vents for easy places to dump nuclear waste, according to a document discussing the exploration of the deep sea titled “Oceanography 1998: Exploring the Ocean Abyss.” The damage and obstacles required to mine these vents would not be worth the mineral wealth. These hydrothermal vents need to be respected and preserved; furthermore the expansion of mining them must not continue. Instead hydrothermal vents could be safely observed with minimal samples taken for research.
The potential harm to the ...

... middle of paper ...

...areas must stop or the hydrothermal vents will be destroyed along with 70% of the Earth and 97% of its water: the oceans.

Works Cited

Analyzing the Promise of Deep Sea Mining. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Hydrothermal Vent Prospecting Team. eLibrary Science. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
Jarvis, Brooke. Deep-Sea Mining---Bonanza or Boondoggle?, PBS, 25 Jun. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Mining. Encyclopedia: Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Servive, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.
Ocean and Oceanography. Encyclopedia: Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Servive, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.
Seafloor Gold & Copper Exploration. Nautilus Minerals, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Skaugh, Lew. New Designs Advance SPAR Technology into Deeper Water. PennWell Corporation, Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
UniServe Science. ‘Black Smokers’ Webquest. AT&T, 19 Apr. 2007. Web. 06 Feb. 2014. 02 Nov 1998.

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