Have you come across the two shades of water? Yes! Two shades of water because you can clearly distinguish the merging of two great water bodies. Quoting John Keats here, “the poetry of earth is never dead,” and everything lies in its exquisite beauty. Can you ever wonder that water cannot mix with water itself? Well, Gulf of Alaska speaks a different story!
Having an uneven combination of mountain, forest and tidewater glaciers, Gulf of Alaska is the place where two oceans meet, but interestingly, they never mix with each other (as is believed). The color variations of dark blue and electric blue water in that merging point is clear and stunning. Even the growth of froth will show you the exact point of intersection of the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
What is the science backed explanation for this phenomenon?
Here’s the scientific explanation:
Not two oceans – but a glacier melting and the other is the offshore water of Gulf of Alaska. The melting water of glacier is mineral rich and sediment-laden; other is saline water. The first one being lighter in density has light blue color, while the salt content makes sea water density heavy, giving it a dark blue shade. This variation in water density brings that difference in colors. However, the temperature and salinity level difference are also responsible for keeping the water bodies dissimilar.
It’s a myth – ‘meet but do not mix’!
Surprised! Or confused? You heard that right. This ‘meet but do not mix’ concept is partially a myth. If ever you get to notice these borders of their intersection, you will see them varying at times. The fact is, those waters do mix eventually, but their intersecting borders are not static.
A sneak peak of this photo’s history:
Guess how this occurrence on Earth caught the eyes of this world? The original photo was clicked back in 2007 when a team of oceanographers set out for a research work to understand iron’s role in the Gulf of Alaska. Their study also included how that iron in the water bodies reaches northern Pacific regions. However, it only went viral when photographer Kent Smith set out on an expedition back in 2010 and took a photograph. By 2013, this famous photograph received 860,000+ views from users across the globe on
However, it only went viral when photographer Kent Smith set out on an expedition back in 2010 and took a photograph. By 2013, this famous photograph received 860,000+ views from users across the globe on internet. All those misconceptions are doing the rounds regarding ‘meeting and mixing’ were cleared by him later on. Presently, studies are on regarding how the presence of this iron influences
Presently, studies are on regarding how the presence of this iron influences growth of plankton and marine productivity.
As for you; keep aside all these explanations for now. Experience the spectacular splendor of nature at the Gulf of Alaska!