Astronaut snaps stunning PHOTO of mysterious ‘swirl’ in Pacific Ocean

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From their breathtaking vantage point hundreds of miles above Earth astronauts can get a unique perspective on our planet. The outpost allowed astronaut Doug Hurley to notice a mysterious swirling pattern in the ocean below.

Astronaut snaps stunning PHOTO of mysterious ‘swirl’ in Pacific Ocean

Hurley, who only arrived on the International Space Station (ISS) in recent weeks, snapped the photograph after spotting the peculiar phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean from a height of about 408 kilometers (253 miles).  

He shared a spectacular photo on Twitter, showing the strange swirl in all its glory. “This light blue ocean swirl caught my eye as we flew over the South Pacific,” the astronaut explained.

The stunning image sparked a flood of theories as to what was responsible for the mysterious pattern, with bioluminescent algae and even sea-monsters among the popular guesses.

While those are intriguing answers, the correct cause of the swirl mystery appears to be an eddy, which is causing nutrients that are usually found in much deeper waters to churn up to the surface. 

“The ocean is a huge body of water that is constantly in motion,” the National Ocean Service explains. “General patterns of ocean flow are called currents. Sometimes these currents can pinch off sections and create circular currents of water called an eddy.”

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