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Even complex animals such as tube worms can live at 80°C, much higher than any other animal.
Many are restricted to a particular vent field, making each ecosystem unique.
On average, a new vent species has been discovered every 10 days since vent ecosystems were first discovered in 1977.
And ancient too Amazingly, vent life has changed little over time.
A whole new domain of life was discovered in vent ecosystems - Archaea, an ancient form of life most closely related to the first life on Earth.
And recently a tube worm community was found living on solid methane hydrate on the ocean floor.
Apart from temperature and the chemical used for energy, a major difference between vent and cold seep ecosystems is the rate of growth.
But in fact, they are unlike any other life on Earth.
Instead of sunlight, vent life relies on hydrogen sulfide - more commonly known as rotten egg gas and toxic to most land-based life.
This water - which can reach temperatures of 400°C - eventually rises back through the ocean floor, erupting as a geyser from a hydrothermal vent.
The dissolved minerals and metals precipitate on contact with the cold sea water, forming a chimney around the vent. When scientists first discovered these vents in the 1970s, they were amazed to find thriving communities of shrimp, crabs, giant tubeworms, clams, slugs, anemones, and fish.