The black water mass off the coast of Florida got me looking around for more info.
Space.com has an article titled “Mystery of Black Water off Florida Solved”
Yeah, right. Nothing to see here, everyone stay home.
For something advertised as a mystery *solved* it’s decidedly noncommital about what the solution is.
The first paragraph:
“A mysterious patch of black water off the Florida coast, the extent of which was detailed by satellite images, is most likely the result of a bloom of algae, officials said today after examining the results of water tests.”
Most likely. Solved!
However, there is an “is” statement that stands by itself. Every reference to it afterwards is weaselly, but they say what it “is” before devoting the rest of the article to guessing what it probably might be.
“The bloom, which cropped up early this year and peaked around Feb. 4, is a nontoxic cousin of the red tide, which has been blooming off southwest Florida since last August.”
See, it “is” a cousin of the red tide. Although we don’t know what it is. But don’t worry, it’s a (presumably) non-toxic cousin of something we do know about, because it has to be because we don’t know what it is.
“Gil McRae, a scientist with the Florida Marine Research Institute, said the black water bloom does not appear to be hazardous to humans, adding that the event is not likely the result of polluted river runoff or any other human or mysterious cause.”
Uh huh. Does not appear to be, not likely the result of… really going out on a limb there, ain’t ya Gil?
“Nothing indicates that this is anything other than a natural event,” McRae said in a telephone interview. Importantly, he added, “there’s no toxicity associated with it like there is with a red tide.”
Uh, Gil? What would indicate that it is an unnatural event? I mean, other than not knowing what the heck it is?
“Some of these things were probably quite common in the past, but we didn’t know about them because we didn’t have the imagery,” he said.”
Yeah, and dragons were probably *really* quite common in the past, but we didn’t have cameras. Good thing, because otherwise all my time travel exploits would have been revealed, too.
“McRae said the bloom was likely caused by organisms called diatoms.”
But they are a non-toxic cousin of the more familiar red tide diatoms. We think. So, even though we can’t conclusively say that it *is* due to diatoms, since if we could we would, we can conclusively say that they are non-toxic. Because they have to be because we don’t know what the heck it is and it looks bad. So it’s safe and non-toxic. Trust us, we’re scientists.
“Why the diatoms generated a bloom remains unknown. McRae said it could be a transition of some sort from the red tide that has been present in the region and is caused by another organism.”
Oh, why bother? Whatever, buddy. A big black mass you can see from space, and you still can’t commit to anything but that it’s nothing to worry about and not likely the result of pollution or “mysterious cause.”
There you have it. The black water mystery – solved!