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10 places on Earth that resemble alien planets

By: Bryan Nelson on March 1, 2013, 1:03 p.m.
deep sea hydrothermal vents

Photo: NOAA

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Deep sea hydrothermal vents

Saturn's moon Europa and Jupiter's moon Enceladus are believed to contain liquid oceans underneath their icy crusts, and since these moons are also believed to be seismically and volcanically active, their seafloors probably look a lot like deep sea hydrothermal vents found on the seafloor right here on Earth. In fact, the discovery of chemotrophic organisms living at these deep-sea hydrothermal vents might even offer a unique glimpse at how life might have developed on these moons. Studying these life-forms could therefore be the closest analogue we have on Earth to being able to study real aliens.