In the Gulf of California, Mexico, a team of researchers dove deep and found a series of venting mineral towers.

These towers were up to 10 meters across, 23 meters tall, and were “teeming with biodiversity and potentially novel fauna.” And they were colorful – so very colorful.

The most shocking part about this situation is the fact that these same spots were visited a decade ago and none of what we see here was there – it’s all new!

Large amounts of new hydrothermal venting popped up in the past 10 years, providing for an ever-changing underwater landscape in the area.

The team aimed to “identify and quantify habitat-specific microbial populations,” and BOY did they find their fill.

“This is an amazing natural laboratory to document incredible organisms and better understand how they survive in extremely challenging environments,” said Dr. Mandy Joye (University of Georgia).

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