Brine shrimp (Credit: © Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Sea monkeys, it seems, are more than just a novelty pet phenomenon. As if traveling to space with John Glenn wasn’t enough, these tiny brine shrimp are exerting influence over the circulation patterns of the world’s oceans, Auto World News reported.
Researchers from the California Institute of Technology used lasers to guide the creatures around. A high-speed camera observed the effects the sea monkeys’ movements had on hydrodynamics in their tank.
Taking the measurements and integrating them into a larger model, the researchers tested how billions of tiny invertebrates could affect ocean currents. The modeling suggests that schools of zooplankton and other creatures could contribute 1 trillion watts of power to the world’s oceans, about half the power of winds and tides combines.
Image: Brine shrimp (Credit: © Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-3.0)