Featuring C-DEBI researcher Andreas Teske.

For the next two-and-a-half weeks, the Atlantis will now be on the high seas, first heading for the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California before then crisscrossing the gulf in search of hydrothermal vents, underwater hot springs that provide some of the most unique habitats on our planet. It will be a dream-come-true for many of the 18 scientists on board, even if they won’t be able to spend much time enjoying the warm climate, the sun and the sea breeze on the surface. Night after night, they will be working in the ship’s three laboratories and sleeping through the day. They will handle rare rock samples and examine deep-sea creatures pulled up from the depths, including crustaceans, bizarre tube worms and flocculent orange and yellow microbial mats. And mud. Kilos and kilos of dark-brown, slimy, stinky mud.