Note: This is part 1/2 of a series ocean circulation and biology. See The life of an oyster for part 2.
Is the ocean moving? Waves break on the shore, but how does the rest of the ocean move? Almost 30 years ago (1991), there was an accident on a big ship traveling across the ocean. Thousands of rubber duckies from a shipping container fell into the ocean. What happens next gave oceanographers clues about how the surface of the ocean moves. The Rubber duckies traveled all over the world, washing ashore in Australia, Hawaii, the Arctic Ocean, and some got stuck in the middle of the Pacific! This lesson gives students an appreciation for ocean currents. The surface of the ocean can move in a circle, or through continental passages. They can move in opposite directions in different parts of the globe. This lesson is a great precursor to my other lesson on the oyster life cycle.