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Mysterious White Clouds Keep Popping Up Near The Bahamas, And No One Knows Why - ScienceAlert

Mysterious White Clouds Keep Popping Up Near The Bahamas, And No One Knows Why - ScienceAlert

Mysterious White Clouds Keep Popping Up Near The Bahamas, And No One Knows Why - ScienceAlert
Jan 25, 2023 58 secs

The slice of ocean squeezed between Florida and the Bahamas is one of the most well-studied marine environments in the world, and yet it's also the epicenter of a lasting geological mystery.

Since at least the 1930s, scientists in the region have noticed strange, billowing white clouds appearing in the turquoise tranquility of the water's surface.

The team doesn't know if the trends they've identified are natural or human-caused, but what they do know is that from 2003 to 2020, the size of these whiting events seemed to correlate with the seasons.

"We do see some interesting relationships between environmental conditions, such as the pH, the salinity of water, and the behavior of winds and currents, but we can't yet say what exact mechanical, biological, or chemical processes were responsible for that peak in activity."

USF researchers tested their model on whiting events in the Great Lakes with preliminary success, but now need to back up those patterns on the ground, or rather, in the water.

As mentioned before, recent satellite data suggests white patches in the Bahamas are more common in spring and winter, and this is when the Florida currents that run north to south switch.

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