‘Smoke Rings’ Spotted Off the Australian Coast From Space


Two “smoke rings” have been discovered off the Australian coast, leaving researchers believing that they could “suck up” small marine creatures carrying them at high speed for long distances across the ocean.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool spotted the equivalent of smoke-rings in the Tasman Sea, off the southwest of Australia and in the South Atlantic, west of South Africa.

The “smoke rings” are a pair of linked eddies spinning in opposite directions that travel up to 10 times the speed of “normal” eddies. There are a lot of these eddies in the ocean; in fact, the ocean is full of these swirling motions, with some being hundreds of miles across.

In the research paper titled Rapid Water Transport by Long-Lasting Modon Eddy Pairs in the Southern Midlatitude Oceans, which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the authors explained:

The two rings are cut in half by the sea surface, so only the two ends of the ring are visible at the surface. The lead author of the study, Professor Chris Hughes, said in a statement:

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