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...

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