This story originally Appear in Atlas Obscura And is Climate Service Desk Cooperation.

For months, the surrounding waters Istanbul, Turkey, has been coated with a sticky film. Sometimes it’s creamy, sometimes it’s khaki, it may look a little dreamy or very disgusting, depending on the vantage point. From the top of the head, it is almost romantic, like clouds glimpsed from space, white wavy lines gleaming on the blue of the earth. Observed up close, these things are more viscous. This material that clings to the coast is sometimes called “sea nose”, and the reason is easy to understand. It looks like the ocean equivalent of a big, wet sneeze.

The sea snot is scientifically called “marine mucus”, and it is an ecosystem of its 2009 papers In the magazine Public Library OneA group of scientists led by Roberto Danovaro, a marine biologist at the Technical University of Marche in Italy, described it as Ocean snow, Mixed organic matter floating from the surface to the bottom of the sea-such as feces and fragments of dead plants and animals.

A Turkish research team explained that nasal mucus is produced by a bunch of microorganisms In a UNESCO site called Harmful Algae News, Especially the microalgae called diatoms. As we all know, these petite algae emit polysaccharides, and this sugary carbohydrate becomes very viscous. The researchers sampled sea snot that condensed in several places in the Marmara Sea in 2007 and 2008, and also identified species such as dinoflagellate.

Drone photographs show an aerial view of the increase in mucus levels on the coast of Kadbostan, Istanbul, Turkey on June 15, 2022.Photo: Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Just like the mucus sprayed from the human nostrils, the sea snot can smell bad, and it will be mucus no matter what it touches. Scientists have discovered that in addition to discouraging swimmers and preventing fishing, these sticky substances may also cause nuisance to corals. From December 2020 to early March 2022, marine biologist H. Barış Özalp of Onsekiz Mart University in Canakkale, Turkey, Measured the impact of sea snot on coral reefs In the Canakkale Strait. Özalp found that some creatures were dripping these things. It looks as if they were blown up by the celestial substance, or encased in spider webs, which seemed to be killing some branches.Thick coatings deprive corals of oxygen, and other research teams have worked hard to solve The effect of sea nose on mussels and crabs, And other sediment residents.Danovaro’s team found that the sticky matrix can also Trap virus, And may transport them to the marine ecosystem.

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