Ocean has been the center of human life, 50% to 70% of the Earth’s oxygen comes from the ocean, it covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and thus it is called Earth’s life support. Despite its importance, ocean contains great mysteries that even analysts and scientists are unable to explain. One of these mysteries is ocean natural phenomena that have been witnessed, seen and experiences by sailors all around the world. Some of these phenomena can be explained by experts, while some are interestingly left unknown.
What is Ocean Natural Phenomena?
Generally, a natural phenomenon is phenomena (event that happens as a fact and is observable) that occurs and is not artificial or man-made. Simple natural phenomena include everyday weather that we feel, sunrise and sunset that can be seen, biological process, geological process, physical process and many others. While some are normal, others include earthquake, volcanic eruptions, or tsunami are considered as disastrous.
Natural phenomena may occur everywhere and this includes, in the oceanic term. Ocean natural phenomena are so diverged, that some can be rationalized and the others are too overwhelming to be explained. Some of these phenomena occur because of the chemical, physical or biological reaction under the ocean. Below are 15 most intriguing ocean natural phenomena that you will not believe they actually exist.
15 Ocean Natural Phenomena
The phenomena listed below are events that can be discovered through senses, not by intuition. Some of these events happened through centuries, some may be explained and some still left unknown. These are the greatest ocean natural phenomena:
1. Milky Sea Phenomenon
This phenomenon happens in Indian Ocean and is caused by the bioluminescent bacterial action or some call them as dinoflagellates and making the ocean water into a blue color.
As the phenomena takes up an approximate of 250 km length of the sea, it can be seen from the space.
Then, this area is seen as having a blue color from the satellite orbiting the Earth, but appears to the human eyes as unique milky yet glowing water in the darkness. Thus its called Milky Sea Phenomenon.
This phenomenon has not just happened recently. However, actually it has been documented for more than four centuries. Though the life span has been long, up until this modern time, there is no scientific proof that those bacteria are the cause of this eerie blue color and no thorough explanation has been given for this phenomenon.
2. Striped Icebergs
Somewhere near Antarctica, you can find a beautiful iceberg that appears as striped and multicolored. This beautiful phenomenon occurs because of various reasons, but each layer is formed due to different condition. For example, a blue colored stripe is formed because the crevices are filled with water and as the frozen time is fast, there are no bubble formed.
This phenomenon is not rare but still uncommon to be found, so if you are lucky enough to go to this side of the world you may find this beautiful form.
Another example is when a water that is rich in algae frozen, it becomes a green colored stripe. While yellow, brown and black colors mostly appear due to the sediments that are picked up.
Bio luminescence has been mentioned by both Aristotle and Pliny the Elder, but it was properly investigated during the late nineteenth century.
Bio luminescence refers to the bio luminescent light that is emerged from the sea. This light is believed have been produced as a defense mechanism by the marine creatures.
Meanwhile. these living organisms combine along with the atmospheric oxygen result in the chemical reaction of the light.
If seen through our naked eyes at night, the ocean is seen to be entirely lit up as if the ocean glows in the dark. There are several countries with this cool bio luminescence beach, such as United States, Australia, Caribbean Island and Asia.
4. Convergence of Baltic and North Seas
The convergence of Baltic and North Seas can be found in one of Denmark’s province, Skagen. It can be seen that both of the seas meet one another but they do not mix. The sea waters remain separated in spite of their convergence because of the different density of the sea.
On the other hand. this phenomenon is even mentioned in the Holy Quran. The color that is suggested because of the different salinity of the water is actually caused by the microorganisms underneath.
However, this phenomenon has been largely debated as some said that the phenomena occurred in Alaska and due to the dirty glaciers that melts and flows into the open ocean.
5. The Maelstrom
A maelstrom is a strong and very powerful whirlpool, a body of water that swirls which is caused by the meeting of opposing currents, which appears in the ocean, as its name means a “crushing current”, this phenomenon is considered as dangerous.
This vast and powerful whirlpool may ‘suck’ things on its surface such as ships or watercraft, whatever in the immediate vicinity. One of the examples of maelstrom is Moskstraumen, which can be found in the open seas in the Lofoten Islands off the Norwegian coast.
On the other hand, its flow currents may reach 32 km/h. This is the second strongest whirlpool in the world.
6. Green Flash
Before sunsets or right after sunrises, you can see a flash of green light far in the ocean horizon. Usually, it lasted less than two seconds and few degrees long.
This green flash is explained as the light cast by the sun that is diverged into multiple colors and it occurs at sea level. It is more likely to occur in a stable and clear air as more light may reach the observers rather than being scattered by the air. It occurs alongside with other optical phenomena, such as inferior-mirage flash, mock-mirage flash, and sub-duct flash.
Other than green, some may observe a blue or violet color which depends on the concentration of the pollutants.
7. The Pororoca Phenomenon
This phenomenon only occurs twice a year. Its between the months of February and March.
During these months, the Atlantic Sea water cascade up the Amazon River and when the tide meets the mouth of the river, it creates the longest wave on Earth.
This phenomenon is called Pororoca, Tupi Language that is translated as the “great roar” and as it occurs in Brazil, it sometimes known as Brazilian’s Longest Wave on Earth.
The wave that is generated during this phenomenon is almost 4 meters high and can be heard almost 30 minutes before it arrives on lanc and so powerful that it may destroy everything such as houses, trees and animals. Although it is dangerous, this wave has been popular among surfers and there is an annual championship that is yearly held there since 1999.
8. Baltic Sea Anomaly
The well-known Baltic Sea Anomaly was first discovered by a diving expert team, ‘Ocean X’, which was led by Peter Lindberg and Dennis Asberg, in the year 2011. Those divers found a circular object, 60 meter wide, 3-4 meters thick and at a depth of 90 meters.
Then, the track in which this circular rock-like object and other smaller objects near that resembles a 300 meter area. Although scientists have suggested some possible origins of this entity, such as a flying saucer, battleship gun turret, sediment from a fishing trawler, it is still remained unsolved and still mysterious up until this day.
A Brinicle forms beneath sea ice when a flow of a water which is rich in salt leaks out of the sea ice and extremely cold and saline water flows back and sinks into the sea to form an angular crystal beneath water.
At its starting formation, the brinicle will have a very fragile structure with thin walls but as the ice accumulates, the brinicle becomes thicker and more stable. This ice stalactite is so cold that it can freeze the sea water and everything around it. This can be harmful to the oceanic life as starfishes, fishes or algae that come in contact with the brinicle can be frozen solid.
Brinicle can only form at a very low temperature environment, such as oceanic waters near the North Pole and South Pole.
10. Red Tide
Despite its beauty, red tide can be quite harmful to the life that the ocean supports, such as marine life and even birds and humans. The reason of this danger is because the colonies of different type of algae that blooms and grows exponentially and causing the coloration of red and a little bit orange color contains and produces toxic and harmful chemicals. That is why some red tides are associated with the production of natural toxins, depletion of dissolved oxygen and other harmful effects. Red tide can be found in the coastal areas, such as every summer along the Florida Gulf Coast.
11. Frost Flowers
Frost flowers are a phenomenon in which a little ice cluster is formed in cold conditions where a very little wind blows, such as on young sea or lake. The formation of this sea ice happens when the atmosphere is much cooler; around 15 degrees Celsius difference than the underlying ice.
While, the wet air from the warmer part, meets the cold air and condensed and supersaturated and thus forming crystals on the sea surface. Normally, the frost flowers will grow around 3 to 4 centimeters wide and have a very high concentration of salt, which explained the crystallized shape.
Frost flowers also contain a high concentrations of other ocean chemicals and are an efficient releasers of these chemicals into the atmosphere because of their extended surface area.
12. Sea Foam
When there is a constant tidal action that causes a disturbance to the organisms on the water, there will be a foaming of the sea. This is created by the agitation of sea water, especially when it contains a large amount of dissolved organic matter. Alternatively, the foaming of the sea water may also be caused by irresponsible human activities, such as dispelling waste into the sea. Despite it is a natural phenomenon, sea foam may be polluted with hazards, such as viruses and other contaminants that may be dangerous to the sea creatures. Sometimes, sea foam can have an unpleasant odor.
13. The Rogue Wave
Rogue wave is a name for a wave which has no certain signs and forms almost out of thin air and it occurs only in a limited location and far out at sea. It is large and unpredicted and appears with tremendous force. In oceanic term, the rogue wave is a wave that has twice in height than the significant wave height (SWH). Due to its vastness, the rogue wave may cause a severe damage to ships even large ships such as ocean liners. There is no underlying cause to this phenomenon but it usually happens because of the merging waves that has been brought together by strong currents or high winds.
As rogue waves are not caused by land movements, it should be differentiated from tsunamis, as the latter results from a sudden movement of the ocean floor.
14. Flammable Frozen Bubbles
These bubbles can be found under Alberta’s Lake Abraham. These bubbles are so special because although it may look pretty fascinating, each bubble contains a highly flammable gas, methane.
Though without any trigger, this gas is harmless, but if you happen to light a little fire near this bubble, it will definitely explode.
When organisms such as plants and animals are dead and fallen into the water, the bacteria will eat those dead organic matters and it secretes out methane, a white bubble under the sea water surface.
These bubbles are believed to worry scientist as there is an increasing number of bubbles will pop due to the decreasing permafrost (a greenhouse effect).
As it has been shown, ocean contains a great mystery, from phenomena that had been highly debated to the explainable phenomena; ocean is becoming more interesting and intriguing. Some of these phenomena’s existence may be hard to be believed. As men, we are responsible for taking care and reserving the ocean.
15. Steaming Black Sea
As the name explains itself, this phenomenon occurs because of the steam that is arising out of the Black Sea. The steam or the ‘sea smoke’ occurs because of the humidity of the ocean water that counteract with the coolness of the wind over the water surface. The light wind cools off the warmer air above the warmer water beyond its dew point, and the excess, smoke, condenses out as it can no longer holds that much vapor.
It has different shape or may form a spiral; some are not very high while some are quite large as up to 20-30 meters high column of sea smoke has ever been observed. Experts have suggested that these phenomena may happen even on a smaller body of water, not only on the ocean. Actually, this phenomenon is similar to the steam that comes out of a hot drink.
In the end, all of ocean natural phenomenon are kindly epic and interest to be explained. Thus, it shows the beautiful natural creature which make eyes captivated .