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Rust villages of the deep: In Pele's shadow, iron oxide, or rust, comes to life

Loihi Seamount structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes.

Loihi Seamount and its "rust villages": Structures built by iron-oxidizing microbes.

Credit: Clara Chan, University of Delaware


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Three-dimensional representation of Loihi Seamount, with depths below the ocean surface in meters.

Three-dimensional view of Loihi Seamount, with depths below the ocean surface in meters.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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Veil-like structures covering Loihi's summit;

Veil-like structures cover Loihi's summit; they're composed of sheath-forming bacteria.

Credit: David Emerson, Bigelow Laboratory


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instrument collecting microbial mat samples from the seamount's iron-oxidizing bacteria

Scientists collect microbial mat samples from the seamount's iron oxidizing bacteria community.

Credit: David Emerson, Bigelow Laboratory


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Aboard ship, scientists process samples of Zetaproteobacteria

Aboard ship, scientists process samples of Zetaproteobacteria from Loihi's flanks.

Credit: David Emerson, Bigelow Laboratory


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Scanning electron micrograph shows the bacteria's iron-oxide-encrusted sheaths.

Scanning electron micrograph shows the bacteria's delicate iron-oxide-encrusted sheaths.

Credit: Sean McAllister and Clara Chan, University of Delaware


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