Bacteria and microbiological consortia play an important role in the corrosion of steel in marine environments. There are laboratory based experimental findings and images verifying the presence of such consortia but there are few images in the literature of the interaction between bacteria and corrosion processes. The present paper considers the marine immersion corrosion of steel and presents a number of new images which appear to show steps in the metamorphosis of the iron in the steel to forms of iron oxide and to iron–sulphur compounds. These transformations appear to involve interaction with bacteria. Scanning electron microscope images were obtained for the specimens which were exposed to actual seawater conditions. Energy dispersive spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction were used to analyse the corrosion products. Inferences are made about the role of bacteria in the transformations from iron to iron–sulphur compounds.