From their impressive vantage point, hundreds of miles above Earth , astronauts can get a unique perspective on our planet – that’s how the outpost allowed astronaut Doug Hurley to notice a mysterious swirl pattern in the Pacific Ocean below. Hurley, who only arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) in the past few weeks, took the picture after detecting the peculiar phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean from a height of approximately 408 kilometers (253 miles). Doug Hurley later shared the spectacular photo on Twitter, where you can see the strange whirlpool in all its glory. “This light blue swirl of the ocean caught my attention when we flew over the South Pacific,” explained the astronaut.
The dazzling image sparked an avalanche of theories about what was responsible for the mysterious pattern, with bioluminescent algae and even sea monsters among popular conjectures. One of the conjectures that formed was “The fishing boat (bright spot) stirred up the bioluminescent algae in the area while its crew dropped their nets (dark circles). The pattern is as much from the wake of the boat that disturbs the algae as from the schools of fish that circulate away from the bow of the boat as it ran over it. ”
While those are intriguing responses, the correct cause of the whirlpool mystery appears to be natural, as this is due to the nutrients generally found in much deeper waters moving to the surface. “The ocean is a huge body of water that is in constant motion,” explains the National Ocean Service, which is why “The general patterns of ocean flow are called currents. It may interest you: Crops in space! NASA astronauts will be able to eat fresh lettuce. “Sometimes streams can pinch sections and create circular streams of water called eddies,” says the National Ocean Service.