Quirks & Quarks

Why doesn't life continue to spontaneously occur around hydrothermal vents in the ocean?

Life on Earth began as a series of unique processes that resulted in a constant evolution that continues today
Life on Earth likely began at hydro thermal vents like the Eifuku volcano's Champagne Vent near Japan (NOAA)
Listen2:13

Dr. Ali Aksu from the Earth Sciences Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland explains that life on Earth began as progressively complex organic molecules arose from non-living mater. It is quite likely that this took place around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor about 4 billion years ago. Life did not begin in a single event, it began as a series of processes that started a constant evolution that continues today. Those processes were unique to conditions on the planet at that time. For that reason, it is not possible for life to re-evolve even though we still have active hydrothermal events in the oceans.