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A Mystery in Bermuda Waters

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posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 07:41 PM
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Greetings fellow ATSers,

Let me say at the outset that this may be nothing but it may also be something, I simply don't know what to make of it and the purpose of this thread is to hopefully collaborate in sifting out possibilities, probabilities, and get to the bottom of what, at least to me and at the moment, is a bit of a mystery.

I flew into Bermuda this afternoon to visit family for the weekend from Newark airport on flight CO 1657. We departed EWR around 12:10pm et and landed about an hour and forty minutes later at BDA airport.

The flight was fine and completely uneventful, that is until we started our final approach. Those that have taken this flight before know that basically like any other flight we start our descent 25 or so minutes before landing. About five to ten minutes before landing, depending on the approach, the Bermuda reefs start to become visible from the windows. If the weather is clear as it was today, I always look for them out the window to know when we're almost there.

So i'm looking out the window, and as we get closer to the ocean, starting ten or so miles before we reach the reef, I start noticing something that I have never seen before flying into Bermuda for the last 25 years. The best way I can describe this is that it looked like massive streaks of bright brown and orange slicks on top of the water.

Note: Before anyone asks, no I did not take pictures, my camera was in the overhead compartment and we were on final approach and I was not going to turn on my cell phone in a flying aircraft to take pictures. But those that know me on the ATS can attest to the fact that I am not prone to either hyperbole or deceit.

Anyway, as soon as I got home I asked if anyone knew about this and no one did!

The best explanation someone proffered is that it could be an algae/plankton bloom.

Now because of family considerations I haven't had time to fully investigate the above hypothesis. A cursory google search revealed that the Sargasso Sea can and does have Trichodesmium blooms. In fact they have recently been reported in North Carolina.

However, I must tell you this ... from what I saw it looked nothing like what pictures I have seen of algae blooms.
In fact, and without exaggeration, it looked identical to footage we were looking at 2-3 months ago of the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

I want to make this perfectly clear, I have no evidence that parts of the Gulf oil slick has made it up the Gulf Stream to Bermuda. I am telling you what I observed today and are soliciting your help in trying to identify it. I will for my part ask all the locals tomorrow and one of them will probably have a perfectly innocuous answer for me ... or at least explain to me how algae blooms can occur in the Sargasso Sea in mid October. For what it is worth no one that I have spoken to this evening has seen anything on this in the local Bermuda news.

I hope it is as innocent as a 'bloom' and not the other thing ... and hopefully this will merely be a lesson in what happens when an ATS member observes a natural phenomenon and goes from meh to panic in under ten seconds.


Either way, I thought it interesting enough to note and share.

I will investigate further both with the locals and in the local media tomorrow and report accordingly. I will also try to contact the Bermuda Biological Station to seek clarification. Perhaps some of our members versed in the environmental sciences can also offer their take.


PS. Just worth noting also that the recent hurricane might have had an effect on this, although driving around the island, other than a little 'salt burn' you'd never know there was a hurricane a couple of weeks ago. That being said, the affects on the ocean were probably more considerable than on the island itself.


edit on 14 Oct 2010 by schrodingers dog because: of catastrophic spelling




posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 07:55 PM
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Any possibility that it was oil?
I guess the only way to know that for sure is to tell someone whom could really find out
edit on 14-10-2010 by Lil Drummerboy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Lil Drummerboy
Any possibility that it was oil?


That is the first thought that crossed my mind ...
The possibility seems remote but it bears investigating.
That is however exactly what it looked like.
Like I said it may be nothing significant, at least that is my hope.

Btw, it was not cruise ship runoff or dumping, I know what that looks like and it wasn't that.



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 08:14 PM
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This seems a plausible explanation:


The Sargasso Sea has no shores. The 2 million-sq.-mi. body of water in the middle of the Atlantic is defined by two features: the ocean currents forming the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, which cycles around the sea, and sargassum, the free-floating golden-brown seaweed. The sargassum can be found scattered throughout the sea, sometimes entwined in vast waterborne mats. When Christopher Columbus encountered the sargassum while crossing the Atlantic, he ordered his men to fathom the depths, believing he had struck land. The oceanographer Sylvia Earle, though she prefers not to think in land-based metaphors, calls the sargassum "the golden rain forest of the sea," a base for scores of juvenile creatures, a floating nursery in a sea that was long believed to be a watery desert. She has traveled to Bermuda, on the western fringes of the Sargasso Sea, to see the sargassum and the ocean life she has worked for decades to protect. "The sargassum is the shelter," she says as her boat passes beyond Bermuda's coral reefs. "It is the island in the stream."

It's an island that can be tough to find. The late-summer hurricanes that plague the Atlantic had churned the waters off Bermuda like an eggbeater, breaking up the biggest sargassum mats. www.bios.edu...




I guess it could be that, but I have seen this stuff before many a time and it isn't that bright orange color I saw today.

Ugh, I don't know.


Mystery solved ...I think.


edit on 14 Oct 2010 by schrodingers dog because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 08:24 PM
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I have no info to add, but I sure hope it's a natural thing. I am tired of being lied to about the Oil mess.
I wonder if there are any flight attendants on this site? It would be very helpful to have a few eyes on it. (I trust you 100% but some may not know you yet)



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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Not sure if this is related at all, but there are booms in the Intracoastal here in WPB,

I think I've always seen booms before (but not really noticed and registered with them) but since the Gulf Oil, I've been a little more vigilant to the waters and paying more attention so, who knows if there's a correlation.

When you fly out or go back, can you snap some photos?
What are your feelings about AUTEC if, any?



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by Human_Alien

When you fly out or go back, can you snap some photos?


Yup, i'll have my camera at the ready upon take off on Sunday afternoon and will post them when I get back to DC Sunday night or Monday.

Although I must admit, and happily so, that it was probably Sargassum that I saw ... this picture I found is a better representation of the color:



Pretty eerie how much it looks like an oil slick no?
Especially if you're seeing hundreds, if not thousands of these patches from above with some trailing in the current making the whole sea rust color.

Hopefully the weather will be clear on Sunday and we'll be able to compare my pics with these ones on public domain.


What are your feelings about AUTEC if, any?


See this is what I love about ATS. I saw something out the plane window and discovered a whole new amazing ecosystem I knew nothing about. Then, just discussing it, I learn about something I had never heard of before.

Didn't know what AUTEC was before your post, can't wait to look further into it.

Thanks for that.

edit on 14 Oct 2010 by schrodingers dog because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 09:21 PM
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...that last pic is beautiful... i dont think it looks like an oil slick - too pretty but you can file my response under clueless - works for me...


...i lived in bermuda when i was a kid - up the hill from horseshoe beach and off to the left of deadman's curve, then down the hill and to the right, pink house next door to the blackwells, lol...

...our club house was a bunch of banana trees - was awesome... we lost the youngest of the brats one day... found him in the cellar - had been eating the bananas that were put down there to ripen... boyOboy, cleaned him out good and proper... fun times...



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 09:24 PM
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Before I finished reading your post, your description made me think immediately of an oil slick. A satellite view might indicate whether or not it has made itself from the gulf to the region. The pics posted however don't really look dark enough to me for an oil slick - its either sargassum or an oil slick - a good thing to investigate further. I am hoping it isn't oil - it would pollute a beautiful area that I have traveled to from Key West on several occasions.



posted on Oct, 14 2010 @ 09:34 PM
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Originally posted by crazydaisy
The pics posted however don't really look dark enough to me for an oil slick ...


Well, the second picture of the Sargassum I posted looks somewhat like this pic of the Gulf oil slick in color:



... which I got from here.

Looking at it 1000-2000 feet from above one could easily mistake one for the other it seems.


- its either sargassum or an oil slick - a good thing to investigate further. I am hoping it isn't oil - it would pollute a beautiful area that I have traveled to from Key West on several occasions.


Agreed ... hopefully it is indeed Sargassum and we can all relax. And by 'we' I mean 'I' ...



edit on 14 Oct 2010 by schrodingers dog because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2010 @ 09:00 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Why don't you boat out there and find out? Take a sample. It may be inconvenient but at least you / we would all know.



posted on Oct, 15 2010 @ 09:58 AM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


Uhm not this time me thinks ...

First of all it would take me about an hour to an hour and a half each way to get that far beyond the reef.
Second of all it's been raining horizontally with 30-40 mile winds since the middle of last night. It only calmed down about half an hour ago.
And third of all being as I'm only here for three days this time, my plate is full with family stuff.

However I did put in a call to the Bermuda Biological Station this morning and am hoping they call me back.
And I will ask the locals at a function I am attending this evening.
And depending on the weather I will try to get some pics from the plane on Sunday upon take off.

Usually I'm good for a little up close investigating ... this trip neither time or weather allow for it.


edit on 15 Oct 2010 by schrodingers dog because: (no reason given)



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