Top 10 Ocean Phenomena

10. Underwater Crop Circles

These complex patterns made from sand at the bottom of the ocean confused scientists for decades. Resembling crop circles, these underwater crop circles were found to be created by male pufferfish looking to attract a mate. Incredibly intricate and radiating out from a central point to form a circle, there is nothing else like it in the ocean.

9. The Growing Gap Between Eurasia And North America

Tectonic plate movement is responsible for the continents of Eurasia and North America slowly drifting apart from one another. Creating a canyon of extreme natural beauty, this movement on a planetary scale is creating an amazing gap in the earth that scientists are only now beginning to explore.

8. Underwater Rivers

Underwater rivers are nearly impossible to believe until you see it. Created when a body of salt water rests beneath a body of fresh water, the movement of the salt water creates the visual effect we see when looking at a river. These are frequently seen along the coasts of central America as well as in the underwater limestone caverns where fresh and salt water meet.

7. Meeting Of Fresh And Salt Water

Helping to create the underwater rivers discussed above, when fresh and salt water meet, cool things can happen. For example, the salt and fresh water can sit perfectly on top of one another in caves, creating the eerie illusion of breathable air in a completely water logged cavern. Divers can travel between the murky salt water and appear to be flying as they swim through the fresh water caught above.

6. Green Flash

When looking out over the ocean, a cool phenomena can occur with the sun. at sunrise or sunset, there may be a few seconds where the sun flashes green. Known as the green flash, this is an interesting illusion created when the rays of the sun are separated out as it fades or comes into view. Typically, a green flash will last less then 5 seconds so keep your eye out!

5. Frost Flowers

A frost flower is a delicate arrangement of ice crystals. When these occur on the ocean, it can look like tens of thousands of white flowers are blooming on the surface of the water. What is in fact happening is that the conditions are perfectly right both in the water and in the air to form the creation of ice crystals in the water. Building on existing ice crystals and expanding outward, the frost flowers take on the shapes of needles and leaves, resembling flowers.

4. Brinicle

Looking like a tornado frozen in time, the brinicle is created when ice sheets form in the ocean. A tentacle of ice moves down from the ice sheet along a vertical shaft of cold water, eventually freezing to the floor of the ocean and spreading along the floor in a random direction. Beautiful and otherworldly, the brinicle is otherworldly.

3. Rogue Wave

Imagine looking up from the bow of your ship to see a wall of water towering over you. Known as a rogue, wave, this phenomena are relatively large waves that occur randomly out in the open ocean. Posing a threat to even the largest ocean liners out there, rogue waves have to be watched for in order to be safely traversed.

2. Maelstrom

When ocean currents come together in the right way, a truly bizarre sight can occur. Known also as a whirlpool, the maelstrom is a very powerful swirling body of water. Typically not an issue for larger crafts, smaller boats have to watch out for them as maelstroms can get large enough to sink them. Lasting for seconds or for hours, maelstroms can repeatedly occur in regions of the ocean where conditions are ideal for their formation, leading to their placement on many old sailing maps.

1. Bioluminescence

The further down into the ocean you go, the weirder life becomes. In places where the pressure is extremely high and the light levels are so low that our own eyes are useless, an entire world of bioluminescent creatures live, eat, and reproduce. The bioluminoscity comes from special bacteria that live in the creature and provide it with a colorful display used to both ward off attackers and attract prey.

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