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In Other Ocean News:
Underwater explorers find dozens of WWII U-boats in watery graveyard
Archaeologists have found the rusting remains of 44 submarines off the United Kingdom’s coast, an oceanic graveyard made up mostly of vessels from the German Imperial Navy dating to World War I. Der Spiegel reports a quartet of divers are now at work probing the massive trove of 41 German U-boats, and a trio of English submarines, found at depths of up to 50 feet, off England’s southern and eastern coasts.
They only had 28 of the relatively new U-boats at the beginning of the war, but as the technology proved its effectiveness production was ramped up significantly.
LAPD Diver Sent to Hunt for Evidence in La Brea Tar Pit
In his 16 years on the Los Angeles police dive unit, Sgt. David Mascarenas has answered the call to duty by being lowered into lakes, searching the flanks of piers and scouring the bowels of pipelines.
"I've been under moving ships, in underwater reservoir sheds ... you name it," Mascarenas said. "This is by far the craziest thing I've ever done."
In the hour long dive, at around 17 ft of depth, twice he got stuck in the pudding-like muck, his protective suit (a haz-mat dry suit) filled with oily tar and the constant gas bubbles belching from the depths left him with a light head and burning throat. Mascarenas' dive into the tar pits was part of a joint investigation into a "high-profile 2011" murder case by local and federal law enforcement agencies. Police would not describe nor detail the evidence they were seeking.
Mascarenas said he was surprised by the topography of the pit, which he said included protrusions of tar that looked like small mountains. "The methane gas was pushing up tar in pinnacle-like fashion," Mascarenas said. "I would squeeze the cylindrical columns and they would pop and I heard the gas burp.
Police have been planning the search for weeks.
Tar pits are composed of heavy oil fractions called asphaltum, which seeped from the earth as oil.
Can a Mosquito Kill a Killer Whale? Yes, Says New Case Report
It sounds almost impossible. How could a tiny mosquito possibly kill one of the top predators in the ocean? According to a new peer-reviewed case report published in the Journal of Marine Mammals and Their Ecology, it’s because they lived in captivity.
“Orca (Orcinus Orca) Captivity and Vulnerability to Mosquito-transmitted Viruses,” co-authored by John Jett and Jeffrey Ventre, queries the role of captivity and husbandry procedures in lowering the immune system of captive orcas. The duo, who are former SeaWorld trainers, directly correlated the death of two SeaWorld killer whales to their environment and disease-carrying mosquitoes.
“Unlike their wild counterparts who are rarely stationary,” Jett and Ventre said, “captive orcas typically spend hours each day (mostly at night) floating motionless (logging) during which time biting mosquitoes access their exposed dorsal fins.”