Oceans are still a mystery for humans. Large swathes and depths of the sea are still untouched and unvisited by us. And there lurks many puzzles, creatures, ocean mysteries, and natural phenomena.
Let’s talk about some of these solved and unsolved ocean mysteries that defy our eyes!
1) The Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most mysterious as well as a popular phenomenon in the whole world. It is also one of the oldest sea mysteries which dates back to the times of Christopher Columbus. It is a region in the Caribbean Sea where a lot of ships and aircraft have gone missing.
There are several theories that have been put forward in order to explain these disappearances. It happens to be one of the twelve vile vertices on the earth.
Many of the theories say that disappearances occur because of the strong electromagnetic effect of the earth in the regions. Some people claim to have seen mysterious, paranormal incidents happening in the region. Some theories even go towards the extra-terrestrial. We still do not know the truth about the Bermuda Triangle, despite the many claims.
Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon in which a living organism causes the production and emission of light. It occurs because of a chemical reaction that produces light energy in the body of an organism and thus emits light. It is a type of chemiluminescence. This is a widely occurring phenomenon especially in Marine vertebrates and invertebrates, some fungi, and bioluminescent bacteria.
In this phenomenon, the sea appears to have lit up. Some sailors called the phenomena “The Burning Sea“. It occurs very commonly among animals in the open sea like fish, jellyfish, bacteria, and fungi. start there are about 1500 species of fish that are known to produce luminescence.
Pororoca is a term used for a tidal bore. it has ways that can be up to 4 m high and can travel as far as 800 kilometers. This phenomenon occurs upstream of the Amazon River and its adjacent rivers.
During the nights of the full moon and new moon, the ocean tide is at the highest and the water flows in from the Atlantic instead of going the other way around. The flow of the Amazon reverses. The distance of this largely depends on the rainwater generated outflow of the river. A water bulge also speeds upstream with great force hence causing this phenomenon with an audible noise.
This phenomenon can be best observed during a bi-annual equinox which takes place in September and March. In this period the moon and the sun or in direct alignment with the Earth and the gravitational pull are combined.
The phenomenon is especially popular with surfers. Every year an annual surfing championship is held here. However, surfing in these tides can be dangerous as the water may contain a lot of debris and dangerous fauna.
4) Bimini Road
Bimini Road is an underwater rock formation located near the North Bimini island in the Bahamas. It is also called the Bimini Wall.
It is a long North East south west linear feature with a length of 0.8 km. It is composed of somewhat rectangular limestone blocks. Its origins are not clearly known. However, some theories claim that this feature could be a wall, a breakwater, a road, a pier, or any other man-made structure.
It was discovered in 1968 by 3 divers. Carbon dating tells us that this feature was made by geological forces and not by humans. Still, some people claim that this could be the location of the lost city of Atlantis.
5) Steaming Black Sea
Phenomena of the Steaming Black Sea, more commonly known as sea smoke, frost smoke, or steam fog is a natural phenomenon that is formed by the movement of very cold air over warm water.
In this, a light wind of very cold gets mixed with a shallow layer of saturated warm air which lies right above the warm water of the ocean. When the warm air can no longer hold so many vapors the excess of it condenses out. This is similar to the production of steam over a hot bath.
This phenomenon appears to be turbulent. Sometimes it may even form spiraling columns. Sea smoke columns as high as 20 to 30 m in height have been observed. It is very common in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
6) Julia Sound
Julia Sound was a weird noise which was recorded on 1st March 1999 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, thought to be from somewhere around Antarctica. It was an eerie noise that sounded almost like someone cooling or whining. It lasted for about 15 seconds.
It was so loud that it could be heard from Antarctica till the Equatorial Pacific Ocean autonomous hydrophone array. The NOAA believes that the source of the sound could be a large iceberg that had run aground off. It is on the list of some of the spookiest and most mysterious sounds recorded in the ocean.
7) Baltic Sea Anomaly
The Baltic Sea anomaly is nothing by the interpretations of an indistinct sonar image. It was accidentally discovered by the diving team in 2011. They claim to have found a 60 m thick circular entity about 90 m deep into the Baltic Sea.
The object seems to have unusual features and a non-natural origin. Some people believe that it is a sunken UFO. Scientist believes that the image is nothing but a geological formation. The divers also claim that attract that seems to be directed towards this object also exists. The length of the track is nearly 300 m.
Despite the many interpretations and media attention that this has received, scientists do not believe that the origin of this object could be extra-terrestrial. However, this still remains one of the most intriguing and unsolved mysteries of the oceans.
8) Green Flashes
Green flashes are meteorological optical phenomena occurring in the oceans usually just before sunrise or after sunset. They can also occur over the top of clouds and mountains. A distinct green spot is visible for a few seconds above the upper room of the sun’s disc.
This may also occasionally resemble a green Ray shooting up from the point of sunrise or sunset. This phenomenon only takes place when the conditions are right. It happens because the earth’s atmosphere causes the light from the sun to separate into distinct colors. It can be called a natural prismatic effect.
Green classes are usually seen at unobstructed horizons, and hence usually take place over oceans. A green flash was photographed in color for the first time in 1960 from a Vatican Observatory.
9) The convergence of Baltic and North Seas
This is an oceanic phenomenon in which the Baltic Sea and the North Seas are visibly converging. However, there is no visible barrier present. The only barrier present is a chemical difference in salinity. It is known as a halocline. We can see the two different appearances of the seas.
We can say that the two seas do not mix because they have different rates of densities of water. The Baltic Sea mostly contains fresh water from a large land catch basin whereas the North Sea, which comes from the Danish Straits, is more saline in nature. This conversion takes place in the province of Skagen, Denmark.
Sometimes, surface mixing of the seas takes place because of regional temperature variations but in general, the seas are permanently separated. There is a lot of complicated chemistry involved in this phenomenon.
This is an unusual phenomenon and one of the most beautiful ones observed in oceans.
10) Underwater Crop Circles
Crop circles under the ocean, first spotted in 1995 off the southern coasts of Japan, were a matter of great intrigue and discussions for scientists. The locals termed these as mystery circles. These mystery circles actually remain a mystery until 2011.
The answer to this mystery is pufferfish. These species create elaborate circular designs in order to woo females. Scientists say that it is the quality of the circle that can help us determine of female’s mate choice.
Resorts team one observed 10 constructions going on by 4 to 8 male pufferfish. It took them about 7 to 9 days to build a circle. They use their fans to dig in the sandy bottoms. They also decorated the pics which shell and coral fragments.
These patterns also stored sand particles and post them towards the center of the circle which served as a real nest. When the mating is completed, and the eggs hatch, the nests are abandoned by the males and the process continues.
11) Sea Foam
Seafoam is a kind of foam created because of the agitation of seawater. It particularly happens when seawater contains higher concentrations of organic matter dissolved in it. This organic matter may come from sources such as algal blooms. Other organic matter may be proteins, fats, pollutants, detergents, etc present in the water body. Sea form is also called ocean foam, beach foam, or spume.
If we collect this kind of seawater in a glass and shake it vigorously, we will observe small bubbles forming on the surface of the liquid.
Sea form is actually a normal phenomenon and not harmful in any way. However, in the case of algal decay on a grand scale, this seafoam thickens. This can have a harmful impact on human health as well as the environment.
12) Red Tides
Red tides are phenomena caused by algal blooms. In this, the algal blooms become so large in number that coastal waters get discolored by them. This may also cause a depletion of oxygen in the ocean waters other releases of toxins that are harmful to human health and the environment.
Some of the main factors that cause red tides are an increase in ocean surface temperatures, high nutrient contents, calm seas, sunny days after rain, and winds, currents, or ships that may carry these tides over long distances.
Some of the many countries affected by this phenomenon include Canada, England, Australia, France, India, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, United States, Sweden, Spain, etc.
Red tides are harmful because they release toxins in the ocean water. They may also trigger processes like biomagnification or bioaccumulation. They are harmful to aquatic life. give me also spread diseases in human beings such as food poisoning.
Currently, researchers are trying to develop an antidote to the toxins caused by red tides.
13) Milky Seas Effect
The milky sea effect is also called Mareel. This phenomenon has appeared mostly in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean and near Indonesia. This is a phenomenon in which a large area of seawater appears to be glowing translucently. It is a luminous phenomenon of oceans.
There were many incidents when milky sea effects were encountered. From 1915 to 1993, about 235 sightings of this effect were recorded. For research purposes, in 1985 samples were taken at the time of the milky seas’ appearance by a vessel in the Arabian sea and it was found that the phenomenon is caused by a bacteria called Vibrio harveyi.
Later, the National Institute of Oceanography and Kerala Fisheries Department also researched the phenomenon in July 2015 and they found that the glittering waves are caused by Noctiluca Scintillians which is a marine species. It might look white to our eyes but it is blue.
14) Purple Orb
It is a sphere-like species, purple in color. When an expedition was carried by Exploration vessel Nautilus, something purple in color was seen glowing in the camera’s light. Researchers got curious about it and initially, the Nautilus explorers thought that it was the Nudibranch, which is a marine mollusk.
This purple orb was found in Arguello Canyon near the coast of Southern California. Its size is just 5 cm. Later the samples of this species were sent to the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology for further studies. When the purple orb was studied closely it was way more complex than it seemed in the camera.
The research said it had a slug-like part and hence it a little bit resembles the Pleurobranch which is a type of sea slug. The Nautilus team has said that it can’t be said to be a newly discovered species yet. It is currently considered to have close relations with the Pleurobranch.
15) Baltic Sea Anomaly
In 2011, a Swedish diving team “Ocean X ”, Peter Lindberg and Denis Aberg went on a treasure hunt on the seabeds of the Northern Baltic Sea. They took a sonar image of something that was an unusual object for them. They said it was an object that was of non-natural origin. This was then published in a newspaper that the image of an object could be a sunken UFO. While some of the experts and scientists believe that the image looks like a geological formation.
It is also believed by some sources that the image is formed by the crash landing of a spacecraft or even weird speculation is that it might be a secret war technology.
16) Striped Icebergs
A large part of freshwater ice that has broken off from an ice shelf or a glacier freely floats in the sea or ocean is called an iceberg. Although people have seen something strange in those icebergs, sometimes stripes are formed on an iceberg. The stripes even have different colors.
These striped patterns on icebergs are formed due to natural phenomena. The texture and the color of the iceberg are caused by the organic matter and minerals contained in the sea. These patterns are also sometimes created by the winds and waves occurring in the oceans.
As mentioned above striped icebergs have different colors like yellow, blue, black, and brown. The white color of the icebergs is formed because of the small bubbles that are trapped and the light scatters through them in all directions giving it an appearance of white color.
However, the blue color stripes are formed when the melted ice is passing through the narrow passages in the ice sheet and it is quickly frozen and thus bubbles are not created. Hence, the ice that is without bubbles scatters blue color more because of the phenomenon of Scattering of light. Other colors are formed because of sediments.
17) Bloop sounds
This was a mysterious sound that was recorded from the South Pacific Ocean. An ultra-low frequency but high amplitude sound was detected underwater by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US in 1997. First, it was speculated that the sound came from a large marine animal living deep inside the ocean. This speculation got proved wrong as NOAA released a description that the sound was caused by glacial movements like an icequake or ice calvings.
Later, when one of the members of NOAA was interviewed, he said that he first thought that the sound was due to ice calving but then he believed it was a sound from an animal origin. This paradox has kept the mystery alive to date.
Opposing currents produce a body of rotating water which is called a whirlpool. The most powerful whirlpools are generated in seas and oceans and they are termed maelstroms. This concept was brought in front of people by author Edgar Allan Poe. The maelstrom he fictionally depicted was a gigantic circular vortex that reached the bottom of the seabed.
It can be mainly formed because of bad weather and if a maelstrom appears it has the power to suck everything that comes in its force.
19) Frost Flowers
Frost Flowers are crystals of ice. It generally grows on the new and young sea ice or thin lake ice. This happens in extremely cold and calm conditions. It pretty much resembles Hoar frost which is a layer of ice on some solid surface. These ice crystals have 3 to 4 cm of diameter and they grow in patches.
The frost flowers have a high concentration of seawater chemicals and are also extremely high in salinity. This is because they have a high surface area and release chemicals efficiently into the atmosphere. In terms of microstructural chemistry, frost flowers are very complex because of the temperature, concentrations in water, humidity, air, and many more such factors.
20) Rogue Waves in the Ocean
Rogue waves are generally huge waves and they are a very dangerous type of waves. The waves are also called monster waves, freak waves, extreme waves, killer waves, etc. because of their wildness. These waves are unpredictable and can appear suddenly thus making it very difficult for ships or even for large vessels.
The definition of Rogue waves in oceanography is given as the wave that is twice the height of the significant wave height which itself is the mean of the largest third of waves. They mainly occur due to physical factors like strong winds and heavy rains. Strongs winds will generate strong currents and when these strong currents merge they form a large wave. Thus these waves are quite treacherous.
Brinicle is a phenomenon in which a hollow tube of ice grows in a downward direction that is covered by salt coming from the sea ice and it looks like a smoke cloud.
This happens because of extremely cold conditions. When the weather is extremely cold the salt brine concentration starts expelling out from sea ice in the downward direction and when it comes in contact with ocean water around it which is very cold and freezes the salt brine coming down. Hence, a hollow spike of ice is formed and that is a brinicle. It looks really beautiful and is surely an interesting natural phenomenon in the oceans.
This was all about the amazing mysteries and phenomena of oceans. I have tried to cover the most fascinating ones in this article. Hope you will get to know more about these phenomena through our article.