Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Milky Sea" explained

The strange sea phenomenon we saw in the Indian Ocean (see the Journal entry from Aug 2006 “3900nm, 27 days at sea”) has been observed many times. For example, this account in from June 1854 in the same part of the Indian Ocean:

June 1854. South of Java. Aboard the American clipper Shooting Star. Captain Kingman reporting:

"The whole appearance of the ocean was like a plain covered with snow. There was scarce a cloud in the heavens, yet the sky...appeared as black as if a storm was raging. The scene was one of awful grandeur; the sea having turned to phosphorus, and the heavens being hung in blackness, and the stars going out, seemed to indicate that all nature was preparing for that last grand conflagration which we are taught to believe is to annihilate this material world."


August 13, 1986. Northwest Indian Ocean. The entire sea surface took on an intense white glow which was not unlike viewing the negative of a photograph."


It is also referenced in: