Phenomena

Oceanic Swirls

Mixing of surface waters with deeper ocean currents brings together the minerals and nutrients used by phytoplankton, resulting in gorgeous swirls of color in the ocean.  These phytoplankton blooms are most common in the spring and summer, and while lovely, can be harmful to other marine life, either through the production of toxins or by depleting the waters of oxygen. Because the phytoplankton move according to the wind and waves, they can also form a sort of natural flow visualization. (Photo credit: ESA)

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