Talk:2872: Hydrothermal Vents

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Current text: "... but could theoretically repopulate the surface if there were ever extenctions in the real world, as there have been in prior times."
Should extenctions be extinctions? 12:01, 26 December 2023 (UTC)

I was the one who (somehow mis)typed that, and indeed it should. If it hasn't been corrected by the time I get there, I'll do it. (Related, or not, but my on-screen keyboard appears to have updated over the last day or so. I had to reset it back to how I like it (no drag-to-type, no 'suggestions' bar above, remove the emoji button) and I'm sure it's also resized vertically, meaning I may mis-hit 'keys' on different rows, but not sure how I got 'e' instead of 'i'. Put it down to an inexicable Thinko, perhaps?) Also, I might change to make clear that (e.g.) hydrothermic crustacea might (re)redevelop 'regular' phototropic versions (or those atuned to photosynthesis-rooted food webs, or something), instead of being chemosynthesis-rooted. But that could be too difficult to summarise.
...darnit, where's the tilde on this changed OSK? (Ah, there it is. Looks like they added a 'handy' numberpad setting, which I need to switch away from to get where the ~ still resides!) Yet another bothersome 'improvement' that I'll have to see if I can deal withn in the settings... Sheesh... 14:18, 26 December 2023 (UTC)

Regarding the ethology of the benthic species of Rangifer tarandus, the May-Marks navigational hypothesis has now been largely supplanted by the idea of the "angler deer", in which the low-frequency luminescence around the covering of the turbinate bones is used used as a lure, attracting abyssopelagic subspecies of Daucus carota that would ordinarily avoid regions of such extreme temperature. Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 12:23, 26 December 2023 (UTC)

This may well be the most dark Christmas comic ever in the history of xkcd! And not even really funny. Don't get my wrong I can still be amused but find it a bit out of the ordinary for saying Merry Christmas ;-) --Kynde (talk) 13:36, 26 December 2023 (UTC)

Oh, don't worry, this only traps benthic santas. As you'll have noticed, your own Julemanden has remained unaffected... As you can tell by the lack of charboiled reindeer or nisser, just beyond the 'chimneys' themselves. 14:18, 26 December 2023 (UTC)
Fun fact: Benthic santas independently evolved the familiar "Santa" body plan. They are actually more closely related to spiders. 17:40, 27 December 2023 (UTC)
Hmm. It's not clear from the comic how many legs benthic Santas have: two, eight, or six. BunsenH (talk) 19:03, 27 December 2023 (UTC)
I've just been re-reading an old Far Side collection, and thinking that this comic would be the kind of thing that Gary Larson would draw. Except that he would probably have included a pair of comical googly Santa eyes, staring at the reader. BunsenH (talk) 17:01, 28 December 2023 (UTC)

The link to an article explaining Buffy the Vampire Slayer's slayer replacement system, is humorous & mostly apropos, but I feel that a link to The Santa Clause would be much more directly relevant?

The ecology and behavior of "benthic santas" (putative taxon Abyssosanta bathytroglodyta) may have been [ahem] profoundly different from the extant species. The clues are few, but they support the hypothesis that A. bathytroglodyta sought out chimney-like structures and other crevices for shelter and food, to which they were perhaps guided by a symbiosis with Rangiferpisces rubrum, the red-antlered reindeerfish. Predation pressure from hydrothermal vent chimney mimics (Nigroventus abyssosantavorus) would have driven A. bathytroglodyta to the surface. In a possible analogy, the Atlantic clawed lobster, Homarus americanus, initially a deep-water species, was driven to the intertidal zone by predation from Gadus gadus (cod) and other large fish - only to be confronted with intolerable predation pressure from humans, to which they eventually adapted. By this model, the modern Santa (Santa donator) evolved from its precursor species under strong human selection pressure. At least S. donator was, from its precursor's traits, preadapted for a high-pressure existence, and for the cold and dark of the Arctic. 16:51, 26 December 2023 (UTC)

<applause /> 17:57, 26 December 2023 (UTC)
Well done! BunsenH (talk) 01:10, 27 December 2023 (UTC)

By my theory, if Black Smokers are responsible for drawing in Benthic Santas, and removing them from the ocean, White Smokers are where Pelagic Popes spontaneously spawn from. Whether the two phenomena are directly connected (e.g. mass-for-mass) requires further study. 21:34, 26 December 2023 (UTC)

I was curious about the size of hydrothermal vents. Would the benthic santas need to be gnome-sized? But it turns out they can be quite large, up to 60 meters high, with openings up to two meters across. "Opening" is somewhat misleading, though, as the vents aren't hollow pipes but are filled with internal structures "like a kitchen sponge." Santa wouldn't be able to slide down this chimney. Oh well. I still love this comic, and the phrase "benthic santa" cracks me up. 18:55, 29 December 2023 (UTC)

Overworld santas are unhindered by by the physical size/configuration of chimneys (or, indeed, if it's a mere central-heating/aircon vent), so I think they already have the possibility of ingress covered (if not the egress). 19:34, 29 December 2023 (UTC)
I'm guessing that you're looking at this page. Looking at the larger picture that's linked there... if the box marked "500 mm" is taken to mean that that's the scale of the whole image, the large pore is about 15 cm x 7 cm. If the width of the "500 mm" box is supposed to represent 500 mm, the pore is about 67 cm x 30 cm. A Santa who can navigate a chimney grating shouldn't be deterred by this. The image may not imply that a clear path with such dimensions exists all the way down, of course. BunsenH (talk) 00:22, 30 December 2023 (UTC)