Two fascinating tidbits of marine science

Two fascinating pieces in the January 2006 issue of Discover (can you tell how big my reading pile is?): The first is a map of the travels of the December 2004 tsunami. This is amazing. I guess they tracked the wave with satellites and it turns out it didn’t die in the Indian Ocean! In fact, they measured abnormal wave heights 29 hours later off Nova Scotia! This wave headed across the Indian Ocean, banged a sharp right around Africa, and kept going up the Atlantic. I guess it makes sense, but it is amazing to think about. Apparently it followed the mid-ocean ridges for some reason. Not sure why…

Giant squid

The we have the sighting last year of the first live giant squid. Now think about this: here is an animal that is 30-odd feet long and seeped in lore, but science had never seen one live. Yes, they live thousands of feet down, but this is a big animal. I mean, 30′ is one big plate of calamari. It is also amazing how voracious squid are in general. I guess this thing attacked the bait and left a tentacle behind trying to get it. I read something about a smaller species maiming a diver off Baja – they are some serious hunters. So this fits my “fascinating and awe-inspiring” definition pretty well.

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