Spirals of plankton in the southeastern Indian Ocean

Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at spirals of plankton in the southeastern Indian Ocean.

The photo was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

When sunlight is plentiful in the southern latitudes, spirals of plankton like these are common in the Indian Ocean. But the plankton also require nutrients to bloom, which is why plankton is more typically found closer to the coast than in the open ocean. In this case, strong currents seem to have carried the nutrients out further from the coast than normal.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Source: NASA Earth Observatory

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