IS THERE A BLACK HOLE IN THE AT­LANTIC?

iD magazine - - Questions & Answers -

Marine bi­ol­o­gists have dis­cov­ered ar­eas about 60 miles wide in the At­lantic that suf­fo­cate all life. Oxy­gen-free whirlpools there reach depths of up to 500 feet and wan­der for years through the ocean be­fore they col­lapse in on them­selves. Fish and many other marine or­gan­isms can’t sur­vive in th­ese zones for long. Some crea­tures, like cer­tain oc­to­pus species, have adapted to th­ese ex­treme ar­eas and can, at least tem­po­rar­ily, hide from preda­tors there. No­body has yet fig­ured out where th­ese “black holes” come from or what causes them to form. How­ever re­searchers are op­ti­mistic that they’ll soon be able to make use of deep-sea drones and un­der­wa­ter ro­bots to get to the bot­tom of this marine mys­tery.

The oxy­gen-free “black holes” mi­grate about 3 miles to the west each day. The vor­tex’s in­ner core does not al­low any ma­te­rial to leak out. The whirlpools can, like the Gulf Stream, trans­port warm wa­ter. Like black holes in space, the suc­tion of the whirlp

30 MIL­LION cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter are trans­ported by the Gulf Stream ev­ery sec­ond. With­out its in­fu­sion of warmth it would be about 10– 20 de­grees colder in North Amer­ica.

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