Monday, February 25, 2013

Alien Deep

Alien Deep:  Revealing the Mysterious Living World at the Bottom of the Ocean
by Bradley Hague
National Geographic, 2012.  48 pgs.  Nonfiction

     Perhaps you didn't know that "the entire ocean is recycled through hydrothermal vents every ten million years."  That is only one of the not quite ten million but close fascinating facts about life at the darkest, coldest bottom of the ocean found in this informative book.  Logic would suggest that nothing could live at the bottom of the ocean primarily because there is no sunlight for photosynthesis, not to mention, what wouldn't get squished? And yet, scientists using submersibles, camera sleds, and other remotely operated vehicles (RUVs) have found not only microbial life, but enormous tubeworms, sea anemones, hairy crabs, gigantic clams living in and around the hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. Chemistry, vulcanology, and biology combine in this book to give science-minded youngsters (say, grades 4 and up) a thorough look (terrific pictures, too) of  the unexpected ecology at the bottom of the sea.

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