Brine pool: what does the Hot Tub of Despair hide? (VIDEO)
Brine pools are also called sea floor “lakes”. Their water is so salty that doesn’t mix with the seawater above. Explanation is simple: the salinity is three to eight times greater than the surrounding ocean! Almostnyone who accidentally swims into poisoned waters, will die from intoxication.
The water in brine pools has high levels of methane and hydrogen sulphide. The concentration of these gases is so high that living in a “dead lake” is impossible for most of the creatures. Only bacteria, some worms, mollusks and crustaceans withstand toxic environment. They are the main interest of marine biologists studying organisms that have adapted to life in the extreme conditions of a poisonous lake.
Erik Cordes studies these unique brine pools to better understand how they form, how they may change over time, and how the organisms living near them are able to survive—and even thrive. Let’s take a look at the very bottom of the ocean!