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Oceanography: Death and rebirth in the deep

Richard Lutz, a marine biologist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and his colleagues were 2,500 metres beneath the ocean’s surface when they encountered the ‘blizzard’. It was April 1991, and an underwater ridge, 900 kilometres off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico, was splitting open, introducing 1,200 °C molten rock to 2 °C water. The results were apocalyptic.

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