Once upon a time, Sea-Monkeys were just an entertaining science project for children. Now, they’re at the center of a hot debate about how the ocean exists in its current state.

This might be one of the more interesting pieces of news you’ll read all day.

Sea-Monkeys are a species of brine shrimp. Children all over the world have gotten hours, upon hours of joy out of them – simply for existing in a small jar filled with water.

Two researchers at Caltech believe the Sea-Monkeys “may play a significant role in stirring up nutrients, heat and salt in the sea.”

That’s a big role, for a little creature. However, heat, nutrients, and salt are all major players in the life of the ocean, as well as the creatures that live within it. The two scientists even believe that these microscopic shrimp are responsible for charging up the ocean in a major way.

They believe that they add up to a trillion watts of power to our seas per year, and are major players in driving currents and circulation of water throughout the world.

Forget about tides and winds. They only contribute a combined two watts of energy per year. Well, don’t forget about them – but don’t discount the Sea-Monkeys, either is what these scientists are trying to say.

See Also: Chimpanzees develop and learn new things just like humans.

Scientists used a beam of light to drive the Sea-Monkeys to their pattern, or to the place where they believed they would be feeding – and in turn – the group created a massive current, which was actually quite impressive in a very small container.

Now, imagine this happening on a massive scale, and you have the currents, and much more in the water all attributing to this larger picture circulation that many have automatically attributed to wind.

That’s not to say that wind doesn’t play a role, because it does – obviously – but there is also something larger to be said about the Sea-Monkeys whose role was previously thought negligible.

In the ocean though, organisms aren’t coaxed to swim in any given direction. They simply go where suits them best from a survival perspective. The point is that this will give way to greater studies in the areas of swimming organisms, and trying to determine what role they play in creating, or maintaining ocean currents.

The Sea-Monkey research and findings were published in the journal Physics of Fluidics, and you can expect to hear much more about this as time goes on, and scientists have more time to uncover the mystery that is the ocean.

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