Definition of Pompeii worm in US English:

Pompeii worm

noun

  • A tube-dwelling marine polychaete, Alvinella pompejana (family Alvinellidae), found living near hydrothermal vents on the Pacific floor and notable for being able to tolerate very hot, metal-rich environments.

Origin

1980s; earliest use found in Scientific American. From the name of Pompeii + worm, so named on account of the worm's tolerance of extreme conditions.

Pronunciation

Pompeii worm

/pɒmˈpeɪ(iː) ˌwəːm/