Chasing The Methane Dragon That Lurks In The Deep Sea

Date: September 9, 2019

Source: Huffington Post
Author: Chris D’Angelo

THE BOTTOM OF THE ATLANTIC OCEAN — Forty miles off the coast of North Carolina, the 274-foot research vessel Atlantis paced a dark, empty swath of ocean in evenly spaced lines as the crew pinged sound waves into the deep. A quarter-mile below, plumes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, rose from the seafloor.

The underwater site, named Pea Island after an area of the Outer Banks, is one of the hundreds of active methane seeps discovered off the Atlantic coast since 2012. No human had ever explored this particular underwater world. Samantha Joye, an oceanographer and microbiologist, was about to change that.

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