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Showing posts with label Exploration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exploration. Show all posts

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Strange Tale of Under-sea Lake ‘Jacuzzi of Despair’


Have you heard of an under-the-sea lagoon or lake? There are many instances of these reported by geologists. However, many of them are habitable one like their surroundings on the sea bed. There is an odd one out in this category. The Scientists who discovered it have decided to call it as Jacuzzi of Despair. This odd lagoon is totally inhospitable to life. No living marine organism has come out of it alive. This under-sea lake is found nearly 3,300 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. In this blog, we will be looking at the peculiarities of this under-sea lake.

jacuzzi of despair

Jacuzzi of Despair

If we look at the under-sea lake, the name given by the Scientists look apt and self-revealing. They have found that the walls enclosing this lake hold a toxic concoction of extra-salty brine and gases. The gases that come out through this dense brine solution are methane and hydrogen sulfide. Hence, the creatures that inadvertently fall into this salt-rich pool of water become dead in no time. It was found by a group of Scientists under the stewardship of Erick Codes, who is an Associate Professor of Biology at Temple University. The group has published its findings in the reputed journal Oceanography.

under-sea pool

Origin of Under-sea Lagoon

According to Erick, the underwater explorers can find these types of formations at various places on the sea bed. For them, these formations present themselves as a lake or a river flowing. According to the team of researchers, this pool or lake came into being when seawater seeped into the fissures on the ocean floor. The seawater mixing with the subsurface salt resulted in a hot extra-saline liquid. This liquid was later pushed back to the surface by the gases such as methane and hydrogen sulfide.  The water in this lake is at least 4-5 times saltier than the water that surrounds it. Being so dense, this extra-strong brine stayed at the bottom forming the lake. In fact, it is a percolating bowl of toxic chemicals, including methane and hydrogen sulfide.

brine pool origin

Significance of this Discovery

Though rare, the underwater adventurers have found brine pools like this before. What makes this brine pool looks different is the existence of rich ecosystems on its edges. According to Erick, the group was able to find mussels with symbiotic bacteria living in one such colony along the periphery of this pool. This colony was feeding on the hydrogen sulfide and methane gases to stay alive. Near the pool, the group was able to find specially adapted shrimps and tube worms as well. These creatures are living in highly saline and no oxygen environment. According to Erick, the study on this type of ecosystem provides hints about the living conditions of those creatures that might be found on planets in our solar system or even beyond. At present, different research groups are using these extreme habitats on earth as models for what we might discover in other extra-terrestrial systems.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

General Indian and Global News: New Theory on the Mystery of Bermuda Triangle

General Indian and Global News: New Theory on the Mystery of Bermuda Triangle: Introduction The mystery around the infamous Bermuda Triangle has further deepened with the release of new theory in the recent past. A...

New Theory on the Mystery of Bermuda Triangle


The mystery around the infamous Bermuda Triangle has further deepened with the release of new theory in the recent past. According to this new theory, the clouds that form over this infamous region of the ocean are triangular in shape. These odd-shaped clouds are like strong air bombs that can cause wreck with the ship and planes that pass through the said region, the new theory further elaborate. The scientists discovered these strange hexagonal clouds with the help of radar satellite imagery. The meteorologists found these clouds to have a width range of 20 and 50 miles over water. A science channel revealed this discovery in its series “What on Earth”. In this article, we would be looking at the new revelations made by a reputed meteorologist on the mystery of Bermuda Triangle.

Bermuda Triangle

Micro-bursts in Atmosphere

Meteorologist Dr. Randy Cerveny stated that the satellite imaginary produced some bizarre images when the experts focused the satellite on the clouds in the region. He further added that the unusual appearance is due to the signals getting reflected from the hexagon-shaped clouds. He further added that these hexagonal clouds are like sitting air bombs. According to him, these bizarre clouds have come from a phenomenon called micro-bursts. Hence, these have blasts of air trapped in them that wait to release energy on short notice. However, he quickly added that this strange phenomenon in no way completely explains the disappearance of plane and ships without any trace. He had to give this clarification when many people started to question his logic on the social media platforms.
air micro burst

Bermuda Triangle Mystery

There have been many theories that try to explain the strange phenomenon that happen to the transport vehicles which enter the Bermuda Triangle. The legend has been around since 1400. It states that those enter into this forbidden area never return to see its other side. It is located between Miami, Puerto Rico and the Island of Bermuda. This region has been notoriously linked to a vast number of inexpiable disappearances of ships and planes. By using this satellite imagery, some scientists tried to explain away the mystery with the help of high-energy hexagonal clouds that form in the region. They stated that the bursts of clouds release a lot of energy that can upset moving ships and planes and endanger them in the region.

hexagonal cloud

People Questioning the Logic

Many people question this new theory. They claim that this theory also fails to explain the disappearance without any trace. The wreckage could not be found in the sea beds after the ships and planes that meet with accident. Ideally, people expect the wreckage to find near the site of disappearance. The freak storms, waterspouts and rogue waves are known to occur in this region. There were even the instances of empty boats and ships floating in the region. These facts do not sync with the theories floated so far by the experts. Therefore, many people, including the experts from the field of science, do not buy this explanation also.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Travellers’ Account of Journey Through the Forests of Athirapally and Vazhachal


Dubbed as the Niagara of India, the Vazhachal and Athirapally Waterfalls are the most important tourist attraction in the God’s Own Country. The journey by road to the destination takes one initially through a montage of villages and later through the pristine cover of forests that offer a very cool and pleasant climate. The moment the vehicle passes from the area of habitation to the beautiful forest cover, one can hear the rain gently slapping the leaves of trees that hang out towards the road. The sudden change of climate from a hotter to a cooler one in the forest area is a welcome development for a visitor who wants to escape from the incessant heat of the summer.

athirapally waterfall

Beautiful Rainy Season

When we entered the forest zone from Chalakudy side, there was drizzling, bringing the temperature further down. It seemed as if the birds were silent, retiring to their homes on trees for the much needed rest. One could easily imagine that they were anticipating an impending downpour. As we moved more towards our destination, the speed and intensity of the rain picked up and the rain drops tumbled down thick and fast, making the soil wet and marshy. The smell of the rain was everywhere there to feel. As the rain became heavier, the greenery surrounding the winding road through the hills picked up the grey. Soon the darkness seemed to engulf the path through which we were travelling due to dimmed lighting.

vazhachaal waterfall

First-hand Account of Athirapally Waterfalls

Sooner we reached the destination in time for a good view. However, there was a sea of humanity near the waterfalls. Hence, we decided to tread a path seeking a secluded place far away from the loud noise which seemed to mask the melodic sound of the roaring cascades. Soon, we found ourselves walking along a path lined with trees and monkeys in search of a cool and calm place near the waterfalls. After some efforts, we managed to find a silent corner from where the Chalakudy River seems to flow down a height of 80 feet into a small valley below it. This mysterious valley was fully covered with the spray and the haze of the dazzling white of the body of water falling down. While watching the white lather and experiencing the cool spray of water, we wondered about the course of the river after this fall and the many moods it would take in tune with the change of seasons. Sometimes, it remained a gentle stream caressing through the rocks on its banks and at other times it roared and thundered past these rock formations on its way to the sea, passing through cliffs and crevices.

chalakuzhy waterfall

First-hand Account of Vazhachal Waterfalls

After we had wound up the sightseeing, the locals and the small shop owners dotting the parking area near the Athirapally Waterfalls told us about the existence of a bigger cascading falls uphill. From them, we also had learned that Vazhachal Falls is located some 5 kilometres away from the first one. When we reached there, it was an afternoon with lesser crowds dotting the places near it. It looked a lot quieter and gentle from far off when compared to the first one. However, the locals warned us not to venture near it as its still waters run much deeper than what we could imagine. At this location, the Chalakudi River seemed to slope against a rocky path and winding past the banks of the forest taking the hues from it. When we climbed a little further from the usual approach area, we saw the boards showing the presence of the Great Indian Hornbill.  The tropical green forest surrounding the waterfalls provided the ideal habitat for this colourfully winged creature. However, we could not see any one of them there.

steep waterfalls

A Memorable Journey from Vazhachal to Pollachi

As we moved away from the Vazhachal by road, we came across verdant jungles and encountered some of the wildlife inhabiting the region. En route to Pollachi, the forest cover became thicker and the rains heavier.  As we were nearing the Anaimalai Hills, we could see the patches of tropical evergreen forests and rolling tea estates coming intermittently before our eyesight. While passing through this tough terrain, we came across 40 hairpin bends that curved through the mountains taking us closer to our destination. All throughout the journey, the river and the reservoir seemed to follow us on one side and deep valleys on the other. The region is known for the Nilgiri Tahr. While we were negotiating one of the hairpin curves, we came across one of them crossing the road. We stopped at some of the hairpins overlooking the valley below to visually grasp its beauty and inhale fresh and cool air. At one of the assigned points, we were instructed by the accompanying guide to step out and walk in the forest for some time.  When we were trekking up the gradient, we came across the lion-tailed macaques, which are considered as the endangered species, in open area. As we ventured further deep into the forest, we came across a herd of Nilgiri Tahr raising their heads through the thickets. Since it was evening time, we also saw the flying squirrels. They could be seen jumping and gliding from one tree to another. As we were enjoying the sight of flying squirrels, our eyes happened to accidently fall on parched Great Indian Hornbills. A couple of them were seen sitting comfortably on the branches of the trees, basking in the evening sunlight. We came down quickly and got into our vehicle as it was raining heavily in the evening. A quick drive past a misty, marshy land of ferns and orchids lead us to the first halting point in the journey Valparai. This place is not only known for its hill station but also for the tea plantations. This place is known as the bio-diversity hotspot of our country. It has a lot of endemic and endangered species. After a brief stay, we moved further away from Kerala and proceeded towards the Anaimalai Hills that were more attractive and cool.

road to waterfalls

Friday, 14 August 2015

5 Road Trips that You Must Make in India Once in Your Lifetime


It doesn't really matter what you do or how old you are, you need rest at some point in time to rejuvenate yourself. As a matter of fact, everyone deserves a little fresh air and nice panoramic view of nature from time to time. We can all use a road trip to shed old skin and live a life with little stress and forget our stress and troubles. While watching the nature in its true form and splendour, you can even forget the vagaries of life in a city and take home some fond memories about the place. For this you need to go to a road trip that has beautiful natural settings on either side of the road. Here is a list of some impressively beautiful places and routes you should all take once in your lifetime!

1.      Pamban Bridge: It is a cantilever bridge that connects Pamban on Rameswaram Island to mainland in Tamil Nadu. One needs to travel along this road on a bike to get mesmerized by the surrounding blue waters and sea breeze.

2.      Manali-Leh Highway (NH 21): This stretch of road gives the opportunity to see the snow-covered mountain ranges and provide you with the excitement on seeing the prospects of real adventures. Once on this stretch, you get the bliss of being part of the nature in its splendour and enjoy the mild breeze that blows past you. After the ride, you can take back the lifetime memories about this place back home.


3.     National Highway 212: This highway connects picturesque Kozhikode district in Kerala to Kollegal in Karnataka. While travelling on this road, you will pass through Mysore and then through Bandipur tiger reserve. You may also get a chance to have a closer vision of the elephants passing across the road at many points along the highway before reaching Mysore.

4.      Chandigarh-Manali Highway (NH 21): People who would like to have food and take snaps of nature can visit this stretch of road along National Highway 21. While travelling along this stretch, you get the chance to have aaloo paranthas and garam tea from Dhabas dotting it on either side.

5.      Leh-Srinagar Highway (NH 1D): This stretch of road would be most visited by people who want to explore. It will be an amazing experience to ride on this stretch of the road as it offers astounding views of the valley from different angles. The scenic contrasts in the changing colours of the mountain bring a surprise factor to your visits.