This image of a blind shrimp and deep sea mussels was taken by NOAA researchers during the Expedition to the Deep Slope in 2007. These animals are part of a large ecosystem found growing near a cold seep vent in the Gulf of Mexico. These ecosystems are supported by bacteria that feeds on the chemicals that rise with the warm water from the vent. This chemical process is known as chemosysnthesis. It is totally unique in that it does not rely on energy from sunlight. These animals live in deep water where no sunlight can penetrate.