Video

Playing with Fire Under Water

Tom Sherman

2012, 04:19 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 366.46

I decided to dive down and take a look for myself. This is the bottom under an open pen salmon fish farm. There are mounds of fish manure and uneaten fish food and the whole mess is covered with Beggiatoa bacteria. The white patches are Beggiatoa mats, a voracious bacteria that oxidizes sulfur in anoxic conditions. There is no oxygen under these white mats and the Beggiatoa is actually harvesting hydrogen sulfide for energy. Hydrogen sulfide gas smells like rotten eggs. The Beggiatoa loves it down here. They are storing sulfur granules in their cells and thriving in water bubbling with hydrogen sulfide, methane and nitrogen. It is like another planet.

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