Hakai Magazine

South Korean seaweed farms. Photo by Jesse Allen/NASA Earth Observatory/USGS/Landsat 8–OLI
South Korean seaweed farms. Photo by Jesse Allen/NASA Earth Observatory/USGS/Landsat 8–OLI

Stories from the Seven Seas

Coastal stories we wish we’d written.

Authored by

by Colin Schultz

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Hakai Magazine is all about the coast, but other outlets sometimes share our fascination. Every week on Strand we round up our favorite coastal stories from around the web.

Seaweed Farms in South Korea

by Adam Voiland for NASA Earth Observatory

“The dark squares that make up the checkerboard pattern in this image are fields of a sort—fields of seaweed. Along the south coast of South Korea, seaweed is often grown on ropes, which are held near the surface with buoys. This technique ensures that the seaweed stays close enough to the surface to get enough light during high tide but doesn’t scrape against the bottom during low tide.”

Antarctica’s Blood Falls are a sign of life below ground

by Colin Barras for New Scientist

“We already know that there is liquid water—and life—in some lakes beneath Antarctica’s ice. Blood Falls is a sign of something else: that the ground, too, holds liquid water, and that it may have extensive microbial activity. The falls are perhaps the only place where this groundwater comes to the surface. They flow just a few times a decade, possibly driven by changes in the weight of the ice above.”

The great Arctic thaw is seriously worrying archaeologists

by Monica Blaylock for Motherboard

“In some areas the coast is actually moving back five metres a year, so in a decade that’s 50 metres,” Dr. Friesen explained. “And when you think of an average early Inuvialuit site that might be 100 metres by 30 metres, that means you can lose an entire site in a decade.”

Artificial light may alter underwater ecosystems

by Kate Wheeling for Science Magazine

“Many of the organisms that wound up living on the panels are known as fouling species—microorganisms, algae, and invertebrates that anchor to boat hulls, jetties, and aquaculture facilities and wreak havoc for both humans and local marine communities—so lighting up marinas and harbors may not be in our best interest. Barnacles, the most infamous of foulers, have been estimated to cost global economies upward of $303 million a year.”

Can the North Sea wind boom and seabird colonies coexist?

by Fred Pearce for Yale Environment 360

“Although no longer about local empowerment, offshore wind has at least appeared to be environmentally benign. But while nobody doubts its credentials for producing low-carbon energy, the presumption that offshore wind is no threat to wildlife is increasingly being questioned. There are concerns especially about construction noise frightening marine mammals over wide areas of ocean, and about the threat that huge working farms may sometimes pose to birds.”

Sharing the sea with sharks

by Ceridwen Covey for The New Yorker

“Neff believes that governments have been misreading the contemporary public’s mood and attitudes toward sharks for a while. Several surveys have shown that the vast majority of Australians no longer supports radical, lethal action after a shark bite, even a fatal one, and many don’t want shark-control programs at all. Neff said that this is true for many beachside communities around the world that share their local beaches with sharks.”

Flying octopuses: a truly stupid sports tradition

by Jason Bittel for Earth Touch

“[T]he true Detroit Red Wings fan knows how to prepare an octopus for optimum launch capacity. The sea creatures must first be boiled a bit, preferably with a touch of lemon juice and white wine to disguise the odour. A boiled body sails through the air and lands on the playing surface intact and with just the right amount of bounce to celebrate the triumph of one team of grown men playing a game against another team of grown men. Anything else is just silly.”