Thursday May 23, 2024

Science Alert

Off the coast of Big Sur, California, deep beneath the waves, lies a mysterious landscape dotted by large holes in the clay, silt, and sand.

Decades after its discovery, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and Stanford University think they have figured out what is forming the field’s curious pattern of circles.

The commonly accepted theory is that pockmarks on the ocean floor are the product of methane gas or even hot fluids, flowing upwards out of Earth’s interior and blowing some fine sediment away. But while that might be true of underwater hollows in some parts of the world, that is not always the case.

Exceptions to the rule are mounting.

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