Sea Monkeys, The Tiny Instant Pets That May Drive Global Ocean Currents

by Owen James Burke

seamonkeyad

(Image via Odd Calendar)

Remember begging your parents for these things? My parents always joked that the only thing those dehydrated eggs would be good for was feeding my turtle, which horrified me. Turns out though, they do a whole lot more.

A recent study published in Physics of Fluids reports that in response to light, their movements — along with those of other zooplankton — may generate currents as powerful as the wind and even the moon.

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This is what sea monkeys really look like. (Image via Wikipedia Commons)

Using a laser light to guide the sea monkeys, scientists tracked their wake using tiny silver-coated glass balls. They dive during the day and rise to the surface at night, so as the light passed through the schooling shrimp they either ran away and/or dove. Singularly, they didn’t disturb the water much, but collectively, they created a bona fide current.

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(Image credit: M. Wilhelmus and J.O. Dabiri/Caltech)

A time lapse above shows the sea monkeys (in white) creating a current in the suspended silver-coated glass balls (tiny yellow particles)

Watch the video of the study below:

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