Mysterious “Fairy Circles” Under The Sea Could Be Indicator Of Ocean’s Health

Science has been fascinated by the mystery of fairy circleslocated in the arid plains of Namibia and Australia for years now. While the debate concerning the cause of these strange halos continues, a team of researchers has now turned their focus to the lesser-known submarine fairy circles located in the oceans around specific parts of Europe.

Satellite images reveal odd circles within the Posidonia oceanicaand Zostera marina seagrass meadows of the Mediterranean Sea from the coast of Spain along with the Baltic Sea near Denmark, respectively. In a study published in the journalScience Advances, scientists haveused a kind of sonar cartography to reveal that enormous patterns of round vegetation, called leopard spots, can be found dotted over many km of sea. The study notes that these halo patterns can be found throughout lots of the worlds coastal waters but are largely hidden under the sea.

They are basically jbare curved patches of seabed surrounded by seagrass. As you can see, they really are oddly circular.You can even scope out a couple of them on Google Maps, such as you may see in this satellite image close to the Spanish island of Majorca.

This kind of phenomenon has been noted earlier on a land, as stated in the case of the Namibian and Australian fairy circles. The temperate fairy circles are constantly located in exceptionally dry lands where resources are few and far between. Therefore, they are thought to be brought about by competition for water leading to a complex kind of self-organization that creates a round shape. Termites are also thought to contribute as one study found over 80 percent of the bandshadthem living in them. On the other hand, the area of the impact of plant contest versus termite stillcontinues to divide some scientists.

In the sea, in addition, it looks like an issue of competition. The seagrasses are battling for resources, namely carbon dioxide. They generally occur across the shallow regions of coastal water since it is wheremarine life is subject to the most ferocious competition. Equally, the coastal resources are easily influenced by issues like contamination, human action, reduced water quality, and climatic changes.

The researchers believe that a deeper comprehension of these submarine fairy rings may, consequently, be utilized as a perceivable index of the sea’s health.

Because seagrass ecosystems rank among the most endangered ecosystems globally, the capacity to diagnose the closeness of seagrass meadows to tipping points for catastrophic loss according to landscape configurations supplies a tool to direct conservation measures aimed at preventing further losses,” the authors write.

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