This week, facts about undersea volcanoes. Scientists are recording them, and tourists are flocking to them.
CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood. And if you were a marine animal, this is what you might hear when a volcano erupts.
[SOUND OF VOLCANO ERUPTING]
CURWOOD: Scientists at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration are using special microphones to record volcanoes under the ocean. And, this month, they caught one in action just off the coast of British Columbia.
CURWOOD: That's lava breaking through the sea floor at a volcano called Juan de Fuga. There are about 20,000 undersea volcanoes located along ocean ridges that stretch around the earth like seams on a baseball. And tours of them are becoming as popular and as expensive as a skybox at a World Series game.
Off the coast of Portugal, special submarines take tourists nearly 8,000 feet down under. And if you can afford the $20,000 ticket, you'll see a field of chimney-like structures called the Rainbow Vents, which continuously blast lava up to 30 feet into the water.
Undersea volcanoes make for extreme environments. They can heat the surrounding water up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. But that doesn't stop some animals and plants from calling them home. Among the volcanic sea life are white crabs, blind shrimp and tubeworms, as well as mussels and clams, some the size of dinner plates. And for this week, that's the Living On Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.