This scientific sculpture is based on the Giant tube worm, Riftia pachyptila. Riftia worms live on the ocean floor, several miles deep, near hydrothermal vents called "black smokers" which emit a high concentration of sulfides and other minerals. When this heated mix meets the cold ocean water, a black precipitate forms which looks like smoke. Riftia thrive in this environment by converting oxygen, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide into food via a process called chemosynthesis. Because they feed chemosynthetically, they lack a mouth and digestive system. The worms are typically 4 cm in diameter and grow to a length of 2.4 meters. This sculpture was designed in collaboration with Dr. Peter Girguis and Jennifer Delaney in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.
The sculpture is 12 cm tall, 7 cm x 7.2 cm wide and 3D printed in full color sandstone. There are seven worms embedded in a rock and the black spots on the worm casings are limpets.