Aquatic life dying in Gulf mystery

September 1, 2005

Researchers are looking for answers as aquatic life dies in the "dead zone" moving through the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

The Naples (Fla.) Daily News reports animals and plant life are dying as oxygen depleted water travels south down Florida's coast.

Divers and fishermen say they have found dead coral and sponges that crumble when they are touched, dead crabs on the ocean floor and fish floating on the surface.

Experts have many theories about the mysterious devastation that is estimated at covering more than 2,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico.

A red tide that carries with it toxic algae has been spotted and is thought to be linked to the release of freshwater from Lake Okeechobee into the Gulf.

Cindy Heil of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Hurricane Katrina may have moved the water enough to trap a collection of the red tide in a certain area.

As for the lack of oxygen in parts of the water, Heil said a warmer than average surface water could limit oxygen movement in the cool waters at the bottom of the ocean.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Research uncovers microsopic key to reducing ocean dead zones

Related Stories

Image: Signs of Katrina linger in the marshes

August 31, 2015

Ten years after making landfall, scars from Hurricane Katrina still linger. And not just in the blighted houses that mar some neighborhoods. The marshes and swamps that buffer New Orleans from the Gulf of Mexico still show ...

Climate ups odds of 'grey swan' superstorms

August 31, 2015

Climate change will boost the odds up to 14-fold for extremely rare, hard-to-predict tropical cyclones for parts of Australia, the United States and Dubai by 2100, researchers said Monday.

Stinking mats of seaweed piling up on Caribbean beaches

August 10, 2015

The picture-perfect beaches and turquoise waters that people expect on their visits to the Caribbean are increasingly being fouled by mats of decaying seaweed that attract biting sand fleas and smell like rotten eggs.

Recommended for you

NASA measuring the pulsating aurora

October 7, 2015

Thanks to a lucky conjunction of two satellites, a ground-based array of all-sky cameras, and some spectacular aurora borealis, researchers have uncovered evidence for an unexpected role that electrons have in creating the ...

The topolariton, a new half-matter, half-light particle

October 7, 2015

A new type of "quasiparticle" theorized by Caltech's Gil Refael, a professor of theoretical physics and condensed matter theory, could help improve the efficiency of a wide range of photonic devices—technologies, such as ...

Perfectly accurate clocks turn out to be impossible

October 7, 2015

Can the passage of time be measured precisely, always and everywhere? The answer will upset many watchmakers. A team of physicists from the universities of Warsaw and Nottingham have just shown that when we are dealing with ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.