Exploring Our Own Alien World

Date: March 26, 2012

Source: New York Times

Author: Tony Haymet

NEARLY 36 years ago, our understanding of life was changed forever when scientists towing a remote vehicle through the depths photographed a cluster of clams on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean far beyond the reach of sunlight, where no life was supposed to be. The clams were nourished by geothermal ocean vents instead of energy from the sun.

Since then, scientists and explorers from around the world have quietly and patiently discovered a foreign universe full of life here on Earth. The latest foray was on Sunday, when the director James Cameron descended nearly seven miles into a trough known as the Challenger Deep, the planet’s deepest known recess, off Guam.

Continue reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/27/opinion/in-the-deep-seas-exploring-our-own-alien-world.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

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