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Space Museum's show to feature volcanoes and life of the deep sea

"Volcanoes of the Deep Sea", a new Omnimax show to be screened at the Space Theatre of Hong Kong Space Museum from tomorrow (August 1) until January 31, 2005, takes audiences 3,000 metres below the ocean to explore the volcanoes and see the flourishing life and weird terrain.

The show follows a team of scientists as they dive to research mysterious hydrothermal vents on the mid-ocean ridge of the Atlantic Ocean, a place regarded as the largest geological feature on earth being 3,000 metres high, 800 kilometres wide, and 65,000 kilometres long. Water and chemicals spewing from these hydrothermal vents can easily reach more than 400 degrees Celsius and the pressure can reach a crushing 24,000 kPa.

With such an adverse condition, scientists are amazed to find an abundance of life in this vast and little-explored dimension of our planet - numerous species of octopus, galatheid crabs, giant tube worms, golden mussels, spaghetti worms, large anemones and tiny white "feather dusters" and so on. Their life is virtually supported by the microbial community, which get their food from the chemicals in the vent fluid. The deep-sea hydrothermal vent environment is one place on Earth where life lives off the chemical energy of the planet itself rather than on the energy from the Sun.

Scientists also find the microscopic hyperthermophile. Its DNA contains the four base chemicals of life's universal alphabet which are closely related to humans, which suggests that deep sea volcanoes were the places where life on Earth began.

The 44-minute Omnimax show "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea" reveals the planet's marine depths, putting audiences into the most alien and hostile environments on Earth and into contact with the planet's strangest creatures and phenomena. The film will also explore the implications that deep ocean discoveries may have for our understanding of the emergence of life.

The Omnimax show is screened at 1.30pm, 5pm and 8.30pm daily at the museum's Space Theatre. The Space Museum is closed on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Tickets are available at the Space Museum Box Office and at all URBTIX outlets at $24 (front stalls) and $32 (stalls), with a half-price concession for full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

The Space Museum is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. For further information, call 2721 0226 or visit the Museum's website at .

Ends/Saturday, July 31, 2004
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