Archive for the ‘Ocean’ Category

Ocean Census Catalogues 80% Of The.. WTF A See-Through Sea Cucumber!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010


The last time we saw census results this weird, Betty White was talking about swapping out calculator batteries to power a crotch massager.

Marine scientists have announced the 80% completion of a comprehensive ocean census and the results are predictably freaking bizarre. Check out a full slideshow at Discover Magazine’s 80beats blog.


Mysterious Unmanned Yacht Washes Ashore

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Who does the mysterious Yacht belong to? Authorities in the Redington Beacharea of Florida were left scratching their heads Wednesday when this unmanned craft arrived on the sand. The $1,000,000 craft was never registered after it was sold by the previous owner 2 years ago, leaving the police to wonder who the new owner might be and what might have happened to them.

Police hope that the owner will report the craft as missing… if he wasn’t lost at sea.

Sunken Islands Found In The Caribbean

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Scientists find sunken islands in Caribbean - The Local.jpg

Could it be Atlantis? Lost’s mystery island in the sideways universe? Either way, there are some sunken islands at the bottom of the Caribbean Ocean.

During their six weeks in the waters north of Venezuela and west of the Antilles, the experts from the University of Greifswald analysed rock samples from depths of more than 1,000 metres.

The “Meteor” crew then used echo sounding to measure the ocean floor, an exercise which revealed significant differences in depth compared to current marine charts.

In fact, some of the underwater mountains listed on charts did not exist at all, while other areas thought to be flat showed rises of up to 1,000 metres, geologist Martin Meschede said.

The team’s biggest surprise came from the samples they dredged from the ocean floor, which showed stones that could only have come from very shallow depths.

The scientist also believe that the islands were volcanic. No word on if “volcanic” means a nuclear bomb exploded, therefore resetting the timeline.

[The Local]

Ocean Germs Find Refuge On Islands Of Death, Fecal Matter

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010


Did you wake up today thinking that ocean wasn’t a festering tub of death, disease and decay?

Welcome… to Germ Island!

When plants and animals near the surface of the ocean die, they decay and gradually fall to the seafloor. This dead matter can clump together with sand, soot, fecal matter and other material to form what is called “marine snow,” so named because it looks like tiny bits of white fluff. Marine snow continuously rains down on the deep ocean, feeding many of the creatures that dwell there.

A group of scientists studying marine snow found that these clumps, or aggregates, may act as island-like refuges for pathogens, the general term for disease-causing organisms or germs, such as bacteria and viruses. (The “island” term comes from the comparison of the existence of pathogens on marine snow with the way insects, amphibians and other creatures establish homes and persist on remote islands in the oceans.)

The scientists are evaluating the degree to which aggregates made up of this decaying organic matter provide a favorable microclimate for aquatic pathogens. These “refuges” seem to protect pathogens from stressors, such as sunlight and salinity (amount of salt in the water) changes, and from predators. They also might provide sources of nourishment for the pathogens.


[Live Science]

Gigantic Asphalt Domes Found Off Coast Of California

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Ancient asphalt domes discovered off California coast.jpg

See nature? This is what happens when you leave your oil laying around the ocean floor of 35,000 years!

California scientists found two massive asphalt domes on the sea floor, most likely the result of oil deposits made thousands of years ago.

“It was an amazing experience, driving along…and all of a sudden, this mountain is staring you in the face,” said Christopher M. Reddy, director of WHOI’s Coastal Ocean Institute and one of the study’s senior authors, as he described the discovery of the domes using the deep submersible vehicle Alvin. Moreover, the dome was teeming with undersea life. “It was essentially an oasis,” he said, “almost like an artificial reef.”

What really piqued the interest of Reddy — a marine geochemist who studies oil spills — was the chemical composition of the dome: “very unusual asphalt material,” he said. “There aren’t that many opportunities to study oil that’s been sitting around on the bottom of the ocean for 35,000 years.”

This is why we can’t keep anything nice on this sea shelf!

[Science Daily]

Black Smoke(r) Discovered

Monday, April 12th, 2010

A remote controlled vehicle has discovered the deepest hydrothermal underwater vent on record 3.1 miles deep in the Cayman Trough in the Caribbean. Entitled “black smokers” the vents pump a black, iron sulfide compound into the ocean. The compound is hot enough to melt lead.

Locke is strangely unaffected by the news.

[Live Science]