Science: Pink Giant of the Deep

As the tiny submersible Alvin, out of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, cruised at depths of nearly two miles in the Pacific 200 miles northeast of the Galapagos Islands, the vessel's bright strobe lights caught a curious sight: a cluster of vertical tubes growing in rocky crevices of this volcanically active region of the sea floor. Each pipe housed a pinkish worm with an elegant, red, feathery plume. Alvin's robot-like arms grappled up samples, and still more on a return visit earlier this year. Amazingly, some were giant worms, ranging up to 8½...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!