These are tubeworms. Each worm is over six feet long and has a protective white tube surrounding a red body that pokes out the top.
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Image copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union. Further electronic distribution is not allowed.

Creatures which live in Difficult Environments

Some animals can live without light or oxygen. Some can live in very cold places or very hot ones. Some live underwater, while others live on land. All animals are different and need different things to survive.

The animals in this picture are called tubeworms. They live in the deep ocean near undersea volcanoes called hydrothermal vents. Each worm is as tall as a basketball player! They make the tubes themselves to protect from crabs and fish that might like to nibble a tasty tubeworm.

What is it like in the tubeworms home? The vents heat the seawater so it's very hot. It is dark there! There is also a lot of pressure from the weight of the water above. That would be an impossible place for people (or their pets!) to live, but the tubeworms survive just fine!

Last modified June 17, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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