You Can Trace a Typhoon Through Changes in Ocean Life

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

You're looking at a selection of marine life, from shrimp to jellies. But what's special abou these little blighters is that they reveal the presence of a typhoon in their past.

Research Mary Grossmann from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University has been snapping images of ocean life 20 metres below the waves off the Motobu peninsula. The results reveal how the ocean's smallest life forms ride out a storm in a distinctive way. It seems that drifting plankton, like diatoms ("c" above) and radiolarians ("d"), increase in number during typhoons, while critters that can swim, like jellyfish and isopods ("g"), flee the scene. The research provides a little insight into how marine life responds to storms—and could allow us to better understand the impact of typhoons on our planet. [Journal of Oceanography via New Scientist]