It was there, in 1977, that scientists diving in the submersible Alvin discovered the black smoker vents and the clams, crabs and giant tube worms with red plumes huddled around the formations. These discoveries revolutionized our understanding of the adaptability of life and opened our eyes to the possibility of biology beneath the icy rind of Jupiter's moon Europa. It's ironic and apt that this remarkable discovery was first made so close to another influential place, the Galápagos Islands, where Charles Darwin first described the finches that would play such a pivotal role in his formulation of the theory of evolution and ultimately how the human species came to exist in this wondrous universe.
Onstott is a geoscientist
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