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Hot Water, Hot Earth 236

Calopteryx notes a New Scientist article on the discovery of "supercritical" water emerging from a vent in the Atlantic Ocean at 407 deg. C (765 deg. F). One of its discoverers actually said, "It's water, but not as we know it"; it's the hottest water ever found on earth. The cause seems to be a huge bubble of magma beneath the ocean floor, 3 km below the sea surface. Meanwhile Nymz shares a journal entry on a hot spot on land: a 2-acre patch in Ventura county, in California, that has heated up to 433 deg. C (812 deg. F). Here geologists blame buried hydrocarbons burning as they get access to air through cracks in the ground. That high temperature was measured a foot below the ground surface.

One picture is worth 128K words.