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Barren buoys

October 5, 2009

We’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon while on this trip, one Bonnie mentioned in a previous blog post (theplasticocean.blogspot.com). During Moore’s 2007 voyage to the garbage patch, most of the buoys he pulled on board were covered with gooseneck barnacles. Huge clusters of them that made the buoys difficult to lift.

But during this trip the buoys seemed barren. Their sleek surface was coated with brownish gray algae, and only small barnacles, something Moore had never seen before.

Bonnie blogged about it and yet the very next day Bill yelled from the bow that he’d caught a buoy covered in barnacles. This, said Moore, is what he’d expected to see during this voyage, and yet, this buoy is the only one of it’s kind. Since then we haven’t seen any other buoys coated in barnacles.

Bill catches a barnacle-covered buoy

It just adds to the mystery of the garbage patch-which organisms will thrive and which will perish? The answer certainly seems to be fluid.

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