High-temperature submarine hydrothermal fields on Earth's mid-ocean ridges play host to exotic ecosystems with fauna previously unknown to science. Because these systems draw significant energy from chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis, it has been postulated that the study of such systems could have relevance to the origins of life and, hence, astrobiology. A major flaw to that argument, however, is that modern basalt-hosted submarine vents are too oxidizing and lack the abundant free hydrogen required to drive abiotic organic synthesis and/or the energy yielding reactions that the most primitive anaerobic thermophiles isolated from submarine vent-sites apparently require. Here, however, the progress over the past decade in which systematic search strategies have been used to identify previously overlooked venting on the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the ultra-slow spreading Arctic and SW Indian Ridges is described. Preliminary identification of fault-controlled venting in a number of these sites has led to the discovery of at least two high-temperature hydrothermal fields hosted in ultramafic rocks which emit complex organic molecules in their greater than 360 °C vent-fluids. Whether these concentrations represent de novo organic synthesis within the hydrothermal cell remains open to debate but it is probable that many more such sites exist throughout the Atlantic, Arctic and SW Indian Oceans. One particularly intriguing example is the Gakkel Ridge, which crosses the floor of the Arctic Ocean. On-going collaborations between oceanographers and astrobiologists are actively seeking to develop a new class of free-swimming autonomous underwater vehicle, equipped with appropriate chemical sensors, to conduct long-range missions that will seek out, locate and investigate new sites of hydrothermal venting at the bottom of this, and other, ice-covered oceans.