Exploring Our Own Alien World

New York Times
Nearly 36 years ago, our understanding of life was changed forever when scientists towing a remote vehicle through the depthsphotographed a cluster of clams on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean far beyond the reach of sunlight, where no life was supposed to be. The clams were nourished by geothermal ocean vents instead of energy from the sun. Since then, scientists and explorers from around the world have quietly and patiently discovered a foreign universe full of life here on Earth. The latest foray was on Sunday, when the director James Cameron descended nearly seven miles into a trough known as the Challenger Deep, the planet’s deepest known recess, off Guam. (Opinion piece written by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego Director Tony Haymet)