PHOTOS: Giant Sea "Mucus" Blobs on the Rise

PHOTOS: Giant Sea ''Mucus'' Blobs on the Rise
<< Previous   4 of 5   Next >>
Stills from video footage taken by a remotely operated vehicle in 1999 and 2000 show various incarnations of mucilage in the Adriatic Sea.

The mucilage phenomenon was first identified in 1729 in the shallow, mostly closed-off Adriatic Sea, which marine microbiologist Farooq Azam calls a "big bathtub."

The Adriatic's relative warmth and isolation help make it an ideal natural laboratory for mucilage study, said Azam, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Beyond warm temperatures, it's still not exactly clear what drives the blobs' formation, he pointed out. For instance, no one knows why the dead marine matter in the blobs doesn't decompose.
—Diagram courtesy Roberto Danovaro
 
NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.