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Gallery: Amazing images of Atlantic Methane Seeps

Hundreds of Newly Found Gas Plumes

methane bubbles from seafloor

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

Sonar and video gathered by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration ship Okeanos Explorer spotted 570 methane plumes offshore of the East Coast. Here are amazing images of these diverse ecosystems.

Methane hydrate

methane hydrate

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program/2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

A close-up of methane hydrate observed at a depth of 3,460 feet (1,055 meters) off the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

Mussel bed

Methane seep mussel bed

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

A seep site south of Norfolk Canyon. These mussels have specialized bacteria that live in their gills and use the methane to make energy.

Sea creature closeup

Methane seep mussel bed

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

Chemosynthetic mussels discovered at a methane seep along the East Coast.

Bright pink coral

methane seep coral

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

Cup corals and bubblegum corals live on rock near the edge of the mussel bed.

Happy crabs

Methane seep mussels and crab

(Image credit: Deepwater Canyons 2012 Expedition, NOAA-OER/BOEM)

A red crab trying to crack open a mussel at a newly discovered natural gas seep off the coast of Maryland.

Icy gas

Methane gas hydrate

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

White gas hydrate formed under a rock overhang.

Methane lattice

Methane gas hydrate

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

A small piece of methane hydrate formed above leaking methane.

Field of mussels

Methane gas hydrate

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition)

Massive carbonates (brown rocks), live and dead mussels, and white bacterial mats found at a seep site.

I spy an octopus

Methane seep mussel bed

(Image credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer 2013 ROV Shakedown and Field Trials in the U.S. Atlantic Canyons)

The octopus Graneledone verrucosa and brittle stars on top of a mussel bed and white microbial mats at a seep site south of Norfolk Canyon.

Just the right spot

This is an unidentified deep-sea fish, perhaps a relative of the genus Brotulas, rests among the mussels.

(Image credit: NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS)

A species of rockling (Family Lotidae) nestles within beds of chemosynthetic mussels (Bathymodiolus).