Summary: Fragments of a hydrothermal deposit, partly moulded on pieces of basalt lava, were dredged from the edge of the median valley in the centre of the Gulf of Aden. The deposit consists of two main components, manganese oxide in the form of spongy brown to hard black lumps and coatings, and friable green massive smectite. There are smaller amounts of an iron-oxide component, and mixed manganese-oxide-smectite material. Contents of the less mobile trace elements in the smectite are too low for it to have formed by alteration of basalt glass, and it is interpreted as a direct precipitate from hydrothermal solution. None of the components is enriched in Cu or Zn, or contains appreciable amounts of sulphur. If there are sulphides in this deposit, they must lie beneath the parts sampled.