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Why Sharks Gravitate to Hurricanes in the Ocean

Source: Inside Science/Emily DeMarco - March 17, 2016 in Environment

Why Sharks Gravitate to Hurricanes in the Ocean
Photo: Elias Levy/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

(Inside Science) — Around Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the Gulf Stream veers east, flowing away from the coastline of the United States and out into the Atlantic Ocean. Away from the stabilizing influence of the continent, the powerful current revels in its new freedom, spawning large circulating masses of water called eddies that scientists describe as the hurricanes of the ocean.

Now, in preliminary research, scientists are trying to figure out how great white sharks may use the spinning features.

Eddies are ubiquitous in the surface waters of the world’s oceans. Many form when parcels of moving water pinch off from the main body of fast-moving currents like the Gulf Stream, which carries warm water from the subtropics and tropics to regions of the North Atlantic Ocean. On average, the swirls can stretch nearly 125 miles across and typically last weeks or months.

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