Seals are making ‘Star Wars’ noises at each other underwater, and we have no idea why

Above water, they sound like bellowing Wookies. Below the ice, they sound like chirping, chattering robots. Either way, the Weddell seals of Antarctica should have no trouble finding work in an upcoming “Star Wars” project. “The Weddell seals’ calls create an almost unbelievable, otherworldly soundscape under the ice,” Paul Cziko, a visiting professor at the […]

What underwater volcanoes can teach us about Saturn’s moon

Astrobiologists study extreme environments on Earth to understand the conditions that sustain life on our planet. Understanding these fundamentals allow astrobiologists to look for similar conditions that could support extraterrestrial life on other planets. One such environment is called a hydrothermal vent. Deep at the bottom of the ocean, hydrothermal vents sit along tectonic plate […]

Engineers combine light and sound to see underwater — ScienceDaily

Stanford University engineers have developed an airborne method for imaging underwater objects by combining light and sound to break through the seemingly impassable barrier at the interface of air and water. The researchers envision their hybrid optical-acoustic system one day being used to conduct drone-based biological marine surveys from the air, carry out large-scale aerial […]

Squid jet propulsion can enhance design of underwater robots, vehicles

IMAGE: Development of the vorticity pattern into symmetry-breaking instability. view more  Credit: Yang Luo WASHINGTON, November 3, 2020 — Squids and other cephalopods use a form of jet propulsion that is not well understood, especially when it comes to their hydrodynamics under turbulent flow conditions. Discovering their secrets can help create new designs for bioinspired underwater […]

Underwater noise affects marine animals’ relationships. But to what extent?

The Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of six species of porpoise. Credit: Erik Christensen/Wikipedia. Human activity at sea makes a terrible racket. To what extent does this disturb marine animals? Ph.D. candidate Annebelle Kok studied the effect on harbor porpoises, long-finned pilot whales and their prey, and discovered the sheer complexity of the problem. […]

Experimenting with Underwater Sediment Slides

Underwater flow slides, which occur when submerged soil destabilizes and accelerates down a slope, can damage or undermine crucial seafloor and hydraulic structures. Flow slides caused by breaching are especially concerning to engineers because they trigger destructive, sediment-laden turbidity currents capable of destroying telecommunications cables as well as pipelines, wellheads, and other offshore […]