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There are millions of mysterious holes on the sea floor

There are millions of mysterious holes on the sea floor

The indentations on our skin, the calluses, were leftovers from blackpox, which is the name given to all the cone-shaped scars on the sea floor. Among these sea urchins there are very large ones, hundreds of meters long, but also a few centimeters, and the reasons behind their diversity can be many. Geological and hydrological explanations are also possible, for example the seepage of liquid or gas from the sea floor, but many of them cannot be explained by these ideas.

Today, the North Sea is a particularly well-studied area due to hydrocarbon extraction, which is why we have known about the seaweeds found here for a long time. The size of the local depressions ranges from a few centimeters to 10 metres, and their shape is quite varied, sometimes in the form of grooves, sometimes sickle-shaped, sometimes consisting of concentric pits, and some of them are surrounded by piles of sediment. Their number here is many, several thousand, but there may be millions of them all over the world. the Kiel University Research group led by I managed to find it Interpretation for them.

“Breach” on the sea floor in the results of deep relief surveys.

Source: Earth and Environment Communications

“We have been able to show for the first time that these depressions are directly related to the habitat and behavior of dolphins and sand snakes, and are not created by rising fluids,” said Dr. Jens Schneider von Daimling, head of the research. “Our high-resolution data provide a new explanation for how tens of thousands of depressions on the North Sea floor arise, and based on this we can assume that the same causes are also globally crucial, but have been identified.” It has been overlooked until now.”

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The researchers scanned the North Sea floor near Heligoland with centimeter precision, and for their analysis porpoises (Fokoina Fokoina), the behavior of sand snakes has been linked.

But what exactly is happening?

Brown dolphins

Source: Natural World

The sand eel (which is not even an eel, but a collective term for small, long fish) spends most of the year in seafloor sediments, where it digs its burrows. Dolphins really like this food, as experts know from examining the stomach contents of dead North Sea dolphins. The researchers found that dolphins searching for sand eels leave their shells on the sea floor. Both the porpoise and the gray whale feed on the sea floor, so it is possible that the latter species may also be counted among the original creators of burrows.

Sand eel habitats and dolphin feeding grounds were all where these holes were located, so it seems very likely that many of the holes identified as methane leaks in the past are mostly holes left by animals. This is also confirmed by measurements taken while examining the formation of this crater. In addition, the sediments covering the seafloor here contain no organic materials that could, for example, cause the widely suspected methane leaks. We are Of course they are like that In the world, but these northern seas are not like that, and there is no shallow gas in these places for leakage.

The footage shows a deep-sea area where gases are already escaping from sediments. Thanks to the bubbles, they can be examined with acoustic measurements.

Source: NOAA

However, initially, the craters are often not as deep and large as those found during seafloor surveys. According to researchers, water currents resulting from tides play a major role in subsidence. As vortices form in the holes, this, as a self-excitation process, causes the hole that was originally only a few tens of centimeters (or meters in the case of whales) to expand more and more. The current not only deepens or widens the craters, but also distorts their shape.

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The birth and transformation of craters according to researchers’ theory. The dolphin measures where sand eels are hiding in the mud and digs them out, thus giving birth to the pit ancestor. The swirling water due to the currents increases and deepens this. However, during winter storms, the sea floor becomes red, so the process can start all over again.

Source: Earth and Environment Communications

Then, stormy cyclones, which occur mainly in winter in the North Sea region, can facilitate the digging, and then the whole process starts all over again with a hungry dolphin. Incidentally, craters very similar to the recently surveyed Heligoland craters were also found in the Bering Sea, and according to researchers, these were not created by dolphins, but by gray whales hunting for crabs on the sea floor. At greater water depths, other animals may play a role in creating the holes.

The discovery could also be of great benefit as by discovering the locations of these rays, the feeding places of dolphins or other marine animals can be assessed, and in this way researchers can also help in nature conservation efforts.

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