Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Winding through the world's oceans like the seam on a tennis ball, the ocean ridge is about 80,000 kilometres long and can be thousands of kilometres wide.

It's mostly cold, dark and lifeless. But scattered along the peaks - where the mountain range is still growing - are some fascinating hotspots that could hold the secret to where life began.

Could life have evolved on the longest mountain range on Earth,  that is so far under the water it's invisible to most of us? Many scientists believe life on Earth evolved in what's dubbed a 'primordial soup'. After the molten Earth cooled down, there were warm ponds of water, scattered across the rocky surface.

And somehow an external source of energy (perhaps lightning or ultraviolet light) triggered a series of chemical reactions in these ponds that led to life. But this energy source would be intermittent, not continuous. You would have to wait for a lightning strike, or a break in the clouds so that ultraviolet could shine through.

A new (and still controversial) hypothesis is that life began on the sea floor, driven by the more reliable energy supply of molten magma just under the Earth's crust.

Meet the ocean ridge and it's inhabitants . . .

Check out the full Great Moments in Science with Doctor Karl Kruszelnicki - news and podcast HERE


About Us >> Contact Us >> Terms & Conditions >> Unsubscribe >> Copyright Surf Media Pty Ltd