What is the Big Question?

Hi landlubbers! As we sail away from Tahiti, the water is becoming quite deep. That’s not a problem for me, J.R. and my microbe friends as we live in the sediments way down at the bottom but it would be a real problem for you humans. For the scientists to get to us, they will have to lower the drill string to a depth of as much as 5700 meters before they can even start drilling into the sediments. Imagine the weight of all that water, no wonder why we live in the tiny pore spaces within the sediments. Down at this depth the ocean water is very cold, about -4oC and there is no light at all. So what do we use for energy, you are probably asking. That’s what the scientists would like to know! Expedition 329 is investigating an area of the ocean where there is very little living material or what is called organic material in the water.

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