Small "Pompeii" worm worm coming out of its tube. These worms live in the hottest water of any of the vent animals and are one of the most thermally tolerant animals on Earth. Credit: Stephen Low Productions.
June 26, 2007 A discovery that radically changed our understanding of the planet we live on celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. Scientists first discovered volcanic hot vents surrounded by bizarre animals thriving in total darkness at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in 1977 and at the end of June an international team of scientists, including many of the original explorers, will honor the landmark discovery at a special meeting and public event in the Galápagos Islands, located just south of the discovery site.