Deep-sea lava rock or deep-sea brownie?
While slightly less tasty than a brownie, this volcanic rock sample was collected from the lava flows at the Axial Seamount on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The long soda-straw-like drips form when the lava drains out from under a solidified crust, probably as the eruption wanes or lava is diverted to a different flow lobe. Such features are pretty common, although these are the longest drips our team has ever seen!
Thanks to deep-sea technology, like this robotic arm from our ROV, we are able to not only observe the life the lives miles below the ocean's surface but we are able to bring interesting samples back to the lab for further analysis. Each dive brings us closer to understanding our world's least-explored environment. Here's to continuing to uncover the mysteries that are hidden in the depths and darkness of the abyss!
Research programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) encompass the entire ocean, from the surface waters to the deep seafloor, and from the coastal zone to the open sea. The need to understand the ocean in all its complexity and variability drives MBARI's research and development efforts.