Video of yacht sailing through sea of pumice near Tonga
August 25, 2019 7:08 PM   Subscribe

 
And now their boat doesn't have any thick dead skin on it anymore!
posted by hippybear at 7:13 PM on August 25, 2019 [56 favorites]


The video starts at 0:50. It's one of the most unsettling things I've ever seen.
posted by Cobalt at 7:17 PM on August 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


And now their boat doesn't have any thick dead skin on it anymore!

It it wasn't so damn eerie, I'd just say hang your feet over the side and enjoy a free pedicure.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:24 PM on August 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


Pedeeriecure
posted by hippybear at 7:29 PM on August 25, 2019 [6 favorites]


It's odd, indeed, and I would worry about damage to a fiberglass hull. Fascinating video, thanks for posting.
posted by theora55 at 7:30 PM on August 25, 2019 [8 favorites]


How could they not show the boat wake? Did it leave an opening or did it close up behind them?
posted by procrastination at 7:31 PM on August 25, 2019 [42 favorites]


Looks like an alien landscape out of the movie Interstellar. Beautiful in a kind of scary way.
posted by MillMan at 7:45 PM on August 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


We had a thread maybe ten years ago about a pilot who had seen mysterious big bright orange and yellow lights on or above the surface of the Pacific that no one had an explanation for — I seem to remember there were even linked photos — and despite the fact that I commented in it, I couldn't winkle it out of my comments with plausible search terms.

I'd wanted to see whether the lights were near the site of the underwater eruption that produced this pumice.
posted by jamjam at 7:50 PM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I saw another thread about this on Facebook, and it gets even better -

The field of pumice is drifting towards Australia, and the thinking now is that it will be picking up all sorts of microscopic animals on the way, which will also attract other snails and crabs and such. And - some of the microscopic animals it will attract likely will include coral polyps.

Which further means - this floating pumice island could actually help re-establish life in the Great Barrier Reef.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 PM on August 25, 2019 [54 favorites]


So eerie! The sound was so soothing though. I'm also mad they didn't show the wake of the boat, and how the pumice acted in the turbulence.
posted by drinkyclown at 7:53 PM on August 25, 2019


I got a strong 'breathing' vibe, especially toward the end of the video as the swells rose and fell in synch with the timbre of the sound.

The see felt alive to me.
posted by workerant at 7:58 PM on August 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


I read a Guardian article earlier that said their speed was reduced to one knot in the pumice field, and I don't know likely a wake would be in that circumstance.
posted by jamjam at 7:59 PM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Stuff floating on the surface of the ocean (like ice) greatly suppresses and mutes waves, so I'd bet there was little to no wake through that field of stone. Just big smooth rollers.
posted by bonehead at 8:06 PM on August 25, 2019


The boat guy said they couldn't see their trail or wake at all, in the Weather Channel article.
posted by [tk] at 8:09 PM on August 25, 2019 [6 favorites]


Free pumice!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:35 PM on August 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


The change happened whilst I slept. Its details I shall never know; for my slumber, though troubled and dream-infested, was continuous. When at last I awakened, it was to discover myself half sucked into a slimy expanse of hellish black mire which extended about me in monotonous undulations as far as I could see, and in which my boat lay grounded some distance away.

Though one might well imagine that my first sensation would be of wonder at so prodigious and unexpected a transformation of scenery, I was in reality more horrified than astonished; for there was in the air and in the rotting soil a sinister quality which chilled me to the very core. The region was putrid with the carcasses of decaying fish, and of other less describable things which I saw protruding from the nasty mud of the unending plain. Perhaps I should not hope to convey in mere words the unutterable hideousness that can dwell in absolute silence and barren immensity. There was nothing within hearing, and nothing in sight save a vast reach of black slime; yet the very completeness of the stillness and the homogeneity of the landscape oppressed me with a nauseating fear.
posted by glonous keming at 8:43 PM on August 25, 2019 [19 favorites]


Which further means - this floating pumice island could actually help re-establish life in the Great Barrier Reef.

...which we will immediately kill once it arrives.
posted by pompomtom at 8:56 PM on August 25, 2019 [13 favorites]


That sound would slowly drive me insane…
posted by not_the_water at 8:59 PM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


The house I grew up in was on the shore of lake Ontario, and occasionally there would be the right set of circumstances of freezing and waves that would cover the surface of the water with what looked like a muddy slushie. it would smooth out all of the small details of the waves, so the lake's surface would just be these smooth rolls, similar to but smaller than, the waves in this video. It was mesmerizing, I'd just sit and watch and listen to the shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:06 PM on August 25, 2019 [12 favorites]


Honestly, at this point I think Lovecraft stories coming true is honestly an improvement.

Lovecraft: Trump said what about immigrants? That's crazy racist!
posted by stet at 9:46 PM on August 25, 2019 [5 favorites]


It is so surprising to me how unsettling that is. Intellectually, I know what I'm seeing. But some part of my brain sees a field of rock, makes a really basic, rather safe assumption about its characteristics like its potential to move (i.e., none), and then freaks the hell out when the field of rock... undulates.

Also, I'm no expert, but that's got to be a pretty tough case for video compression algorithms. It's a bunch of fine detail, with each part moving, stretching, and scaling in different amounts and directions.
posted by whatnotever at 9:50 PM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Amazing but the videographer in me is screaming USE EXPOSURE LOCK
posted by iamck at 10:15 PM on August 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


much of the time there was no visible water. It was like ploughing through a field.
I can make a ship sail on dry land.
But my life is incomplete and I'm so blue,
'cause I can't get next to you.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:26 PM on August 25, 2019 [1 favorite]



And now their boat doesn't have any thick dead skin on it anymore!

Wee problem: Boats are made out of thick dead skin.
posted by srboisvert at 3:45 AM on August 26, 2019 [8 favorites]


Calming but disconcerting whenever I see calm/glassy/(sandy?) seas that far from shore.
posted by RolandOfEld at 4:59 AM on August 26, 2019


When I first saw a headline about this, I misread it as saying that there was one single enormous piece of pumice headed to Australia. The reality is actually more interesting, but the idea of a floating pumice island carrying species between continents is tempting.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:19 AM on August 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


It's weird to see what looks like a hillside swell up and move.
posted by Bee'sWing at 6:19 AM on August 26, 2019


It's one of the most unsettling things I've ever seen.

I found it beautiful. I could watch that for hours.
posted by Fizz at 6:20 AM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


this floating pumice island could actually help re-establish life in the Great Barrier Reef

I think it is unlikely that any coral growth could get from floating on pumice to established on the reef.
posted by snofoam at 6:20 AM on August 26, 2019


I wonder what it would look like in a storm. Would the pumice calm the waves like a super oil slick?
posted by TedW at 7:20 AM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


So strange and beautiful
posted by mumimor at 7:53 AM on August 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


worst asmr video ever
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:49 AM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


When the pumice field was on the TV news I thought the anchor man was saying ‘A massive field of hummus is floating to Australia.’! Then they show the film... I thought ‘That hummus is really spoiled! Someone is in big trouble!’ Ah the joys of watching the news befor the caffeine kicks in!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:41 AM on August 26, 2019 [8 favorites]


wow, this is quite eerie and surreal. it's good to sometimes be reminded that the world contains wonders unimaginable :D
posted by the thought-fox at 11:45 AM on August 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


Wow, the latest remake of The Girl With The Dagon Tattoo is looking promising.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 1:09 PM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


re: the Bloop

https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/bloop.html

As the years passed, PMEL researchers continued to deploy hydrophones ever closer to Antarctica in an ongoing effort to study the sounds of sea floor volcanoes and earthquakes. It was there, on Earth’s lonely southernmost land mass, that they finally discovered the source of those thunderous rumbles from the deep in 2005. The Bloop was the sound of an icequake—an iceberg cracking and breaking away from an Antarctic glacier! With global warming, more and more icequakes occur annually, breaking off glaciers, cracking and eventually melting into the ocean.
posted by radiosilents at 1:12 PM on August 26, 2019 [3 favorites]


Slightly disappointed no Cthulhu involvement.

I mean, it's probably for the best...
posted by The Tensor at 4:01 PM on August 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


The sound is like that of a loud wispa
posted by not_on_display at 11:40 PM on August 26, 2019


Empress Callipygos: this floating pumice island could actually help re-establish life in the Great Barrier Reef

Forgive me for being a downer, but it seems to me that for any re-established coral life to persist, humans would have to have resolved oceans' rising temperatures and marine heatwaves. (I've seen a lot of people on social media latching onto this pumice raft news as proof that Mother Nature will restore corals without humans having to change any destructive activities. I'm pushing back on them, but not many people want to know about marine heatwaves.)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:09 AM on August 28, 2019 [2 favorites]


Haha, ok it's a mineral. I didn't know the word "pumice", but assumed based on the first few comments that's what the little pedicure fishes are called. When your mind is set that way, it's a strange and disturbing movie indeed.
posted by Herr Zebrurka at 10:07 PM on August 28, 2019 [1 favorite]


An arial photo.
posted by theora55 at 9:13 AM on August 29, 2019


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