Tag Archives | Oceanography

Is Yonaguni Monument The Japanese Atlantis?

yonaguni monumentIs the breathtaking stone structure the work of a 10,000-year-old civilization, or is it somehow an illusion? Atlas Obscura explains:

The Yonaguni-jima Kaitei Chikei, literally translated as “Yonaguni Island Submarine Topography,” is an underwater mystery off the coast of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. The massive underwater rock formation is speculated to have existed for more than 10,000 years, but whether the formation is completely man-made, entirely natural, or merely altered by human hands is still debated.

The monument was first discovered in 1986 by a diver. Masaaki Kimura, a marine geologist at the University of the Ryukyu, explored the monument for nearly two decades. Kimura remains convinced that the site was carved thousands of years ago, when the land mass was above water.

According to Kimura, the Yonaguni’s right angles, strategically placed holes and aesthetic triangles are signs of human alteration. He also claims that carvings exists on the monuments, resembling Kaida script.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

UFO Hunters Headed For Mystery Cylinder At Bottom Of Baltic Sea

Would you be brave enough to journey to the black, endless bottom of the sea and mess with a mysterious cylinder resting there? Via the Huffington Post:

A mysterious cylindrical object is sitting 300 feet at the bottom of the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland, and nobody knows what it is — yet. Deep sea divers using remote-controlled cameras are heading to the site on Friday. They’ll try to determine the exact identity of the object, which side-scan sonar first revealed in June 2011.

In what’s been compared to an episode of “The X-Files,” Peter Lindberg, captain of the Ocean Explorer, and his co-researcher Dennis Asberg made global headlines last year when they presented sonar images of a nearly 200-foot-wide circular anomaly.

Continue Reading

Radioactive Particles from Japan Detected in California Kelp

Kelp ForestReports Victoria Kim in the LA Times:

Radioactive particles released in the nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami were detected in giant kelp along the California coast, according to a recently published study.

Radioactive iodine was found in samples collected from beds of kelp in locations along the coast from Laguna Beach to as far north as Santa Cruz about a month after the explosion, according to the study by two marine biologists at Cal State Long Beach.

The levels, while most likely not harmful to humans, were significantly higher than measurements prior to the explosion and comparable to those found in British Columbia, Canada, and northern Washington state following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, according to the study published in March in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Giant kelp, or Macrocystis pyrifera, is a particularly good measure of radioactive material in the environment because it accumulates iodine, researchers said.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Fukushima Radiation Moving Steadily Across Pacific

Radiation SpreadVia Common Dreams:

Teams of scientists have already found debris and levels of radiation far off the coast of Japan, one year after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Reports are now suggesting that nuclear radiation has traveled at a steady pace. That contaminated debris and marine life could reach the US coast as soon as one year from now, depending on ocean currents.

Radiation from Fukushima’s nuclear disaster is appearing in concentrated levels in sea creatures and ocean water up to 186 miles off of the coast of Japan. The levels of radiation are ‘hundreds to thousands of times higher than would be expected naturally’ according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Researchers are questioning how the radioactive accumulation on the seafloor will effect the marine ecosystem in the future.

“What this means for the marine environment of the Northwest Pacific over the long term is something that we need to keep our eyes on,” said the WHOI.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

What James Cameron Saw At The Deepest Spot on Earth (Video)

Mariana TrenchMore people have been to the Moon than to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Reports Steve Gorman on the Christian Science Monitor:

Returning from humankind’s first solo dive to the deepest spot in the ocean, filmmaker James Cameron said he saw no obvious signs of life that might inspire creatures in his next “Avatar” movie but was awestruck by the “complete isolation.” The Oscar-winning director and undersea explorer said his record-setting expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 7 miles beneath the surface of the western Pacific, not only capped seven years of painstaking preparation but was the “culmination of a lifelong dream.”

Continue Reading

Welcome to the Acid Sea

Waves on Ocean CoastIs the coming tide an uninhabitable ocean? Reports the AFP via Alternet:

High levels of pollution may be turning the planet’s oceans acidic at a faster rate than at any time in the past 300 million years, with unknown consequences for future sea life, researchers said Thursday.

The acidification may be worse than during four major mass extinctions in history when natural pulses of carbon from asteroid impacts and volcanic eruptions caused global temperatures to soar, said the study in the journal Science.

An international team of researchers from the United States, Britain, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands examined hundreds of paleoceanographic studies, including fossils wedged in seafloor sediment from millions of years ago. They found only one time in history that came close to what scientists are seeing today in terms of ocean life die-off — a mysterious period known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum about 56 million years ago.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

U.S. Navy Wants To Keep Prying Eyes Away From Ocean Floor

LIDO Listening To The Deep Sea Ocean Environment

LIDO Listening To The Deep Sea Ocean Environment

Satellite photos used to be for military eyes only, but Google Earth changed all that. Now something similar is happening to the ocean depths, with any web user able to listen in and “surf the sea floor” – and the US Navy is not happy. Rhitu Chatterjee and Rob Hugh-Jones report for PRI’s The World via BBC News:

“The cable is going underneath here,” says Benoit Pirenne, standing at the water’s edge on Canada’s Vancouver Island. “It’s going out 500 miles (800km) in a big loop in the ocean, coming back in the same place.”

The Vancouver cable connects a network of scientific instruments on the floor of the north Pacific, some as deep as 1.5 miles (2.5km).

Set up by Pirenne and his colleagues at the University of Victoria, and called Neptune Canada, they continuously monitor the marine environment.

The scientists are harvesting large amounts of information, including water pressure readings that help them better understand the movement of tsunamis through oceans, which they hope will lead to more accurate warning systems.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Ocean Acidification Levels Reach Levels Predicted For 2100

299px-Oa-samiVia ScienceDaily:

A group of 19 scientists from five research organizations have conducted the broadest field study of ocean acidification to date using sensors developed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.The study was recently reported in the journal PLoS One. It is an important step toward understanding how specific ecosystems are responding to the change in seawater chemistry that is being caused as the oceans take up extra carbon dioxide produced by human greenhouse gas emissions, said its authors. “These data represent a critical step in understanding the consequences of ocean change: the linkage of present-day pH exposures to organismal tolerance and how this translates into ecological change in marine ecosystems,” the authors wrote.

“These pH time series create a compelling argument for the collection of more continuous data of this kind.” Ocean acidification research is a relatively new study topic as scientists have only appreciated the potential extent of acidification within the last decade.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Did Prehistoric Giant Squids Make Art From Bones?

octoIt sounds completly crazy. But it’s what a group of paleontologists are claiming — the first sentient beings on Earth to create art may not have been humans, but monstrously large, tentacled sea creatures called “kraken” who lived 200 million years ago and possibly arranged bones in geometric, decorative patterns. io9 explains further:

For decades, paleontologists have puzzled over a fossil collection of nine Triassic icthyosaurs (Shonisaurus popularis) discovered in Nevada’s Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. Researchers initially thought that this strange grouping of 45-foot-long marine reptiles had either died en masse from a poisonous plankton bloom or had become stranded in shallow water.

But recent geological analysis of the fossil site indicates that the park was deep underwater when these shonisaurs swam the prehistoric seas. So why were their bones laid in such a bizarre pattern? A new theory suggests that a 100-foot-long cephalopod arranged these bones as a self-portrait after drowning the reptiles.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

New Shark Species Found In Food Market

Photo: Laurent Bugnion (CC)

Photo: Laurent Bugnion (CC)

Biologists are finding new species constantly, but it took a hungry market and working fishermen to find this new shark species. The National Geographic reports:

It’s unlikely anyone’s ever complained, “Waiter, there’s a new species in my soup.” But the situation isn’t as rare as you might think.

A monkey, a lizard, and an “extinct” bird have all been discovered en route to the dinner plate, and now a new shark species joins their ranks, scientists report.

Fish taxonomists found the previously unknown shark at a market in Taiwan—no big surprise, according to study co-author William White.

“Most fish markets in the region will regularly contain sharks,” White, of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Hobart, Australia, said via email.

[Continues at National Geographic]… Read the rest

Continue Reading