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Tiny Creatures May Play a Difficult-to-Detect Role in Ocean Mixing

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Tiny Creatures May Play a Difficult-to-Detect Role in Ocean Mixing

Beneath the calm surface of the water off the Galician coast of the Iberian Peninsula, anchovies gathered to spawn. While these fish were getting lucky, seafaring scientists got lucky too—for the first time, researchers observed tiny creatures agitating the water enough to contribute to ocean mixing.

It may not be intuitive that little fish swimming in a big ocean can produce mixing on a scale larger than themselves, said John Dabiri, a fluid dynamicist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena who wasn’t part of the work. The idea wouldn’t seem so far-fetched, however, to those who study fluid dynamics.

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