Mysterious swirl in Pacific snapped by astronaut on International Space Station
World News

Mysterious swirl in Pacific snapped by astronaut on International Space Station

A bizarre light blue swirl in the Pacific Ocean, spotted by an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS), sparked a wave of curiosity on social media.

Astronaut Doug Hurley noticed the odd pattern in the giant sea after he arrived at the space station that circles the globe hundreds of miles above the surface.

He said of the snap: “This light blue ocean swirl caught my eye as we flew over the South Pacific.”

The photo was snapped the peculiar phenomenon at an estimated 253miles above the world’s largest ocean.

After the image was shared online, theories as to what caused the strange swirl were floated on social media – some of which were tongue-in-cheek.

One said: “That’s probably the ghost of the lost continent.”

Another added: “What’s the coordinates? May be where the Kraken is rising.”

A third said “they’ve arrived” and shared a gif of Godzilla swimming through the sea.

While many people offered up hilarious answers to what caused the swirl, it appears to have more natural origins.

The swirl itself could be an eddy, which causes nutrients that are normally found in deeper water to churn up to the surface.

A National Ocean Service spokesman explained: “The ocean is a huge body of water that is constantly in motion.

“General patterns of ocean flow are called currents. Sometimes these currents can pinch off sections and create circular currents of water called an eddy.”

The swirl is not the only thing picked noticed from the dizzying heights of the ISS.

Several strange objects were spotted hurtling past the ISS live feed, which sparked a frenzy online.

A likely explanation is that the objects are ice crystals, which can often be seen forming outside the ISS given the freezing conditions in space.


Pat Reaves
Pat Reaves writes for our World News section. Having spent his youth traveling from one country to another, Pat has incurred an education that is truly international in culture, academia, and language. His quick thinking and spontaneity has landed him in the sector where stories happen without any warning. He is an extremely patient and nurturing writer who lets a story take its course without interference and prejudice.

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