The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 8, 2014, remains one of the most baffling mysteries in aviation history. Despite extensive search efforts, the wreckage of the plane has never been conclusively located.
Scientists can learn more about the location of a plane crash by analyzing the chemical composition of the tiny crustaceans living on the wreckage.
The new temperature and chemistry tools are among the most accurate yet for using shell chemistry to retrace the routes of crash debris, ocean plastics, dead bodies, and other flotsam carrying Lepas anatifera, also known as goose, gooseneck, or stalked barnacles. They were published in the American Geophysical Union journal Advances.
The vanishing of MH370 with 239 people on board has puzzled experts and investigators for years. Despite extensive searches across the southern Indian Ocean, the main wreckage has eluded discovery.
The absence of definitive evidence has fueled various theories, including hijacking, mechanical failure, and deliberate actions by the pilot. However, the discovery of airplane debris washing up on remote shores in the Indian Ocean and the Western Australian coast has provided some insight into the plane's potential flight path.
Barnacles, small marine crustaceans, have emerged as potential "witnesses" to the plane's journey. These creatures are known to attach themselves to submerged surfaces, such as ship hulls and debris, and can provide vital clues about the objects' movement through ocean currents.
Now, barnacles on plane wreckage could help find missing MH370 Malaysia Airlines plane. Marine biologists and oceanographers have been studying barnacles found on debris believed to be from MH370. By analyzing the barnacles' species, growth patterns, and chemical composition, experts can trace the path the wreckage has taken.
Researchers believe they may have discovered a crucial evidence that may help them determine where the MH370 Malaysia Airlines plane may have landed.
After the jet vanished while en route from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on March 8, 2014, its whereabouts have remained a mystery.
The 227 passengers and 12 staff members aboard the aircraft are thought to have perished in the crash, and its exact position is still unclear.
However, some sea organisms, according to researchers, may change all of that.
On the island of Réunion, a destroyed airplane wing thought to be part of the aircraft was found encrusted in barnacles and washed up.
Scientists in Florida now believe there may be a chance that something discovered in the shells of tiny crustaceans will aid in the discovery of the missing airliner.
They hope to be able to reproduce the barnacles' drift pattern using a technique to extract seawater temperature records from their shells.
According to Oceana, the animals develop their shells around them, frequently molting them and allowing them to regrow in a manner like to a tree ring.
Additionally, according to researchers, each ring can indicate the water's current temperature.
University of South Florida associate professor of evolutionary biology Gregory Herbert said:
The flaperon was covered in barnacles and as soon as I saw that, I immediately began sending emails to the search investigators because I knew the geochemistry of their shells could provide clues to the crash location. The chemistry of barnacle shell layers is like a forensic recorder for drifting debris.- Gregory Herbert
Senior oceanographer David Griffin agreed, describing the study as "an important step towards potentially meeting Malaysia's requirement for 'credible new evidence' to restart the search."
We knew there were clues encrypted in the shells of the barnacles, but the problem was that no one really knew how to decode them. That’s what this group has done. They’ve given us the methods to decode the data that’s there, stored in barnacle shells.- David Griffin
Although the plane's details have not yet been formally confirmed, it is commonly accepted that it crashed into the Indian Ocean.
After less than an hour in the air, the jet made a U-turn and was traveling in the other direction from where it should have been when communication suddenly failed.
Although the search for the aircraft was suspended in 2017, various theories have developed since then. Earlier this year, a researcher asserted to have used satellite photos to locate the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Malaysia Airlines plane; People standing next to plane wing
Ocean currents play a pivotal role in the movement of debris across vast expanses of water. Oceanographers have developed sophisticated computer models that simulate the behavior of ocean currents.
By combining information about the growth stages of barnacles with data on prevailing currents, scientists can narrow down the possible routes that the wreckage may have taken. This narrows the search area considerably, increasing the likelihood of locating the main wreckage.
While barnacle analysis offers promising insights, there are challenges and limitations that researchers must consider. The accuracy of drift models depends on accurate information about ocean currents, which can vary due to seasonal changes and other factors.
Additionally, debris can get trapped in gyres, large systems of rotating ocean currents, which may lead to deviations from predicted paths. Despite these challenges, the combination of barnacle analysis and drift modeling significantly improves the chances of locating the wreckage.
The search for MH370 has involved international collaboration and the pooling of expertise from various fields. Marine biologists, oceanographers, aviation experts, and governmental agencies have worked together to analyze debris and track its potential movement.
Barnacles, those small, often overlooked marine organisms that cling to the hulls of ships and rocks along the shoreline, play a surprisingly significant role in helping scientists track the drift of debris in the vast expanse of the ocean. This role has become especially crucial in solving mysteries such as the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Barnacles are sessile crustaceans that attach themselves to hard surfaces using a glue-like substance. They are filter feeders, extracting nutrients from the water as it flows by. Over time, they build complex calcium carbonate shells around their bodies. These shells, often in the form of a series of overlapping plates, protect them from the harsh marine environment and predators.
When barnacles attach themselves to floating debris, such as airplane wreckage, they essentially become biological recorders of the debris' journey through the ocean. As barnacles grow and develop, they create distinct layers within their shells. These layers, much like the rings of a tree, can provide valuable information about their growth history and the conditions they experienced.
One of the key insights derived from barnacles' growth patterns is that larger, older barnacles tend to settle closer to the base of the debris, while smaller, younger barnacles occupy the upper layers.
This sequential arrangement occurs because older barnacles establish themselves first, and as new barnacles settle on top, they continue to grow and develop. This pattern creates a time-lapse record within the layers of the barnacle's shell.
Analyzing the growth stages of barnacles on debris allows scientists to estimate the length of time the debris has been floating in the ocean. By understanding the rate of barnacle growth and layer formation, researchers can determine how long the debris has been adrift. This estimation provides a critical timeline for tracking the debris' journey, especially in cases where its origin or path is unknown.
Furthermore, since barnacles adhere to surfaces underwater, they offer insights into the depth at which the debris has been submerged. By comparing the species of barnacles found on the debris with those typically found at different depths, scientists can infer whether the debris remained at the ocean's surface or submerged to varying depths during its drift.
Barnacle analysis alone, while valuable, is just one piece of the puzzle. To accurately track debris drift, scientists integrate the information obtained from barnacle growth patterns with sophisticated ocean current modeling. These models simulate the behavior of ocean currents, considering factors such as wind, temperature, and water density.
By combining barnacle growth data with ocean current simulations, researchers can narrow down the potential routes that debris might have taken. This integration enables them to create more accurate predictions about the debris' movement, aiding in the search for wreckage and offering insights into the possible crash site of airplanes like MH370.
MH370 Malaysia Airlines Plane journey highlighted on map
Sea creatures, particularly barnacles, attach themselves to submerged surfaces like airplane wreckage. By analyzing the species, growth patterns, and chemical composition of these barnacles, experts can determine the debris' time in the ocean and estimate its drift path. This information, combined with ocean current modeling, can narrow down the possible routes the wreckage may have taken, aiding in locating the missing plane.
Barnacles accumulate on submerged surfaces in a sequential pattern, with larger and older barnacles closer to the base of the debris and smaller, younger ones on top. By analyzing the growth stages of barnacles, researchers can estimate the time the debris has been adrift and calculate the distance it has traveled. This helps track the potential movement of airplane wreckage through ocean currents.
Ocean currents are large-scale flows of seawater that move across the world's oceans. They play a crucial role in transporting debris across vast distances. Scientists use computer models to simulate ocean currents and predict the potential movement of wreckage. By combining these models with information from barnacle analysis, researchers can identify possible routes the wreckage may have taken, which aids in narrowing down search areas.
While barnacle analysis offers valuable insights, it has its challenges. Accurate predictions rely on precise information about ocean currents, which can vary due to seasonal changes and other factors. Debris can also get trapped in gyres, affecting its movement. Despite these challenges, the combination of barnacle analysis and drift modeling improves the accuracy of predicting the potential drift paths of wreckage.
The search for MH370 has involved collaboration among various experts and organizations, including marine biologists, oceanographers, aviation experts, and governmental agencies. This collaborative approach has allowed for the pooling of knowledge and expertise from different fields. By working together, researchers can analyze debris, study barnacles, and model ocean currents to piece together the puzzle of the plane's disappearance more effectively.
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has gripped the world for nearly a decade. The recent focus on barnacle analysis and the study of marine life attached to airplane debris offers renewed hope in solving this mystery.
Barnacles on plane wreckage could help find missing MH370 Malaysia Airlines plane. Through careful examination of barnacle growth patterns and drift modeling based on ocean currents, experts are narrowing down the search area for the wreckage.
While challenges persist, the determination of researchers and the collaborative nature of international efforts continue to push towards uncovering the truth behind the fate of MH370. As the investigation progresses, the sea creatures clinging to the airplane wreckage may finally provide the long-awaited answers that the world seeks.