Cold seeps could produce the perfect bridge away from hydrocarbon-based energy sources (methane hydrate). Or could kill us all (again, methane hydrate exploding up from the deep because of rising ocean temperatures). Thermal vents are the perfect model for life on other planets. Hell, they model the beginning of us. The deep sea's an amazing place. The bottom of the ocean ain't flat and sandy, or the repository of my car keys (from my 1989 Volkswagen Jetta, lost on a fishing trip off Cape Hateras...don't ask).