Octopus's Garden: Hydrothermal Vents And Other Mysteries Of The Deep Sea

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Basic Books, Jan 2, 1996 - Science - 183 pages
For years scientists believed that the ocean floor was an underwater wasteland, incapable of supporting any life whatsoever. In The Octopus's Garden, Cindy Lee Van Dover introduces the general reader to the life-forms that scientists have only recently discovered thriving 9 to 12,000 feet below sea level. These remarkable organisms live in hydrothermal vents - geysers that spew 600-degree fluid and support an ecosystem utterly unlike anything else on the planet. From the stunning beauty of the "Rose Garden", home to the tubeworm, a six-foot-long creature without mouth or gut, to transparent sea cucumbers and blind shrimp, Van Dover takes us on a fascinating voyage to our planet's last frontier. She also describes the incredibly difficult circumstances under which she and other scientists explore the bottom of the sea. Maneuvering inside of Alvin - a submersible the size of two bathtubs - for nine-hour stretches, oceanographers study this exotic ecosystem under the ever-present threat of landslides and earthquakes. The Octopus's Garden is a vivid account of dangerous and exciting discoveries deep under the waves.

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THE OCTOPUS'S GARDEN: Hydrothermal Vents and Other Mysteries of the Deep Sea

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If you've ever dreamed of viewing the wonders of the ocean floor, here's an eyewitness account. Van Dover (Oceanography/Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks), a contributor to Discover and Smithsonian magazines ... Read full review


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A Chorus of Tubeworms
Chasing Eruptions
Biological Particulars
The Trilobite Factor

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