Exploring deep-sea oases

Methane seeps, where gas escapes from the seafloor into the ocean above, support amazing deep-sea habitats. These habitats are built by unique microbes that harness energy from chemicals, like methane and sulphide, in the absence of any light. Through this, these microbes trap harmful greenhouse gases, make structures that provide homes for animals, and create food that supports an abundance of life. Scientists have been discovering dynamic and diverse methane seep habitats along the Hikurangi Margin off the east coast of Aotearoa New Zealand. Now, they are working to understand the vulnerability of these environments to human activities.