hydrothermal vents

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A fissure on the floor of a sea out of which flows water that has been heated by underlying magma. The water can be as hot as 400°C (752°F) and usually contains dissolved minerals that precipitate upon contact with the colder seawater, building a stack of minerals, or chimney. Hydrothermal vents form an ecosystem for microbes and animals, such as tubeworms, giant clams, and blind shrimp that can withstand the hostile environment.

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