This Is What Happens When Nature Becomes Unnatural – The Alaska Gulf


The Alaska Gulf is the point where the Pacific ocean meets with the Southern coast of Alaska. It is popularly known as the point where two oceans meet. Logically when two water bodies meet, they are expected to mix. However this natural phenomenon has defied the natural expectation.

The Alaska Gulf has been a puzzle and a source of wonder for many years. It is considered a highly productive ecosystem. The rare water coral known as the Primnoa Pacifica is found here. They measure about 150 metres (490 ft) and 900 metres (3,000 ft). The gulf is known to generate great storms.

The major identifiable boundary between the oceans at the Alaska gulf is the crystal clear demarcation of colours. Both water bodies retain their different natural colours. There is a lighter turquoise blue colour on one and a deeper blue color on the other.

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Beyond the mystic suppositions for this phenomenon, there seems to be an explanation for it. According to a scientist, Bruland, the picture above simply shows how the glacial sediments of one water body (from rivers) are emptied into a larger one.

“Glacier rivers in the summertime are like buzzsaws eroding away the mountains there. In the process, they lift up all this material -they call it glacial flour -that can be carried out. Once these glacial rivers pour out into the larger body of water, theyre picked up by ocean currents, moving east to west, and begin to circulate there.” – Bruland

The colours of the water bodies are determined by the nature and level of sediments that it has. The one with the heavier clay of iron content changes the appearance of the water. So when the two currents meet, there’s bound to be a colour difference between them.

But unlike the erroneous notion that the water bodies do not mix, the scientist says “they do eventually mix.” He debunked the fallacy saying that it depends on the level of water sediments at the moment. Besides, borders like this are never static.

“They move round and disappear altogether.”

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The gulf of Alaska is not the only instance where water bodies meet with striking variations. One of other examples is the Confluence of the Rhone and Arve Rivers.