The Giant Tube Worms Are Coming! FAST!!

Change happens quickly on the ocean floor. The picture at right shows a deep-sea area just three years ago, as barren as the moon.But when a hydrothermal vent opened up, the neighborhood became crowded with hundreds of four-foot-tall giant tube worms.

Giant tube worms cant live just anywhere. They grow near hydrothermal ventscracks in the seafloor where hot, mineral-rich water sprays into the ocean.

Until now, no one knew how fast the giant tube worms grew. "We knew they grew quickly", says oceanographer Richard Lutz, "but we never thought they could grow four feet tall in just 20 months."


Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman ( (301) 286-9428
Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)