Scientists researching the microbial life on volcanic vents uncovered more incredible ocean landscapes from the seafloor off the coast of California.

An international team, led by University of Georgia associate professor Samantha Joye, set out to explore sites in both the northern and southern Gulf of California, analysing how microorganisms live in the hot waters by the the vents.

These images come from the ROV SuBastian, a remotely operated sub that can take samples and image the area around these vents, operated from the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel, Falkor.

“We discovered remarkable towers where every surface was occupied by some type of life.

The vibrant colors found on the ‘living rocks’ was striking, and reflects a diversity in biological composition as well as mineral distributions,” Joye said in a news release.

The scientists are collecting microbes and analysing their DNA from the boat using handheld sequencers, according to the Schmidt Ocean Institute website, then switching to more advanced equipment on shore.

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