The Place Where Two Oceans Meet - The Gulf of Alaska

By Renuka Shahane on Feb 25, 2019
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The Internet is a bizarre place and I use this word; since it’s full of phenomenal information that is sometimes not even remotely related to the reality.

Recently, a beautiful photograph of the Gulf of Alaska- Merging Oceans by Kent Smith was making rounds on the Internet. Famed and claimed to depict the union of two oceans, the picture nevertheless evoke interest in minds of many. The sight of electric blue water meet but do not mix with dark blue water is pretty amazing.

The gulf of alaska where two oceans meetPC: Kent Smith(flickr)

The photo was creating a stir on the internet and there were enthusiasts asking questions and the geographical and scientific reason behind it. While the self-proclaimed geniuses had their own reasoning behind how the two waters meet but not mix. Some even claimed the photo to be "Where the Baltic and North Sea meet”!


The Gulf of Alaska the Place Where two Oceans Meet but don't Mix: Myth Busted

Finally, the myths behind this picture are busted and a logical, scientifically backed explanation has come forward from Kent Smith- whom the photo is attributed to.

So what’s the story behind this unusual phenomenon? To keep it simple, here’s what happens:

These aren’t two oceans meeting but two different waters, namely- the glacial melt water which has a light blue colour and the saline sea water which has a dark blue colour.

The eddies (slow moving currents) which are huge in size, spanning over hundreds of kilometres in diameter spin out from the Alaska coast and jump into the gulf of Alaska. These eddies usually carry enormous quantities of glacial sediment from its glacial rivers like Copper River. These sediments when mixed later help to form iron. The two waters that we see in the photo are actually the water from the sediment rich rivers and the general ocean water.

The colour difference occurs owing to the difference in the density of the waters. The density of the water, along with the variation in temperature and salinity level is responsible to keep the waters distinct.

Also, the 'meet but never mix' myth is also busted. The waters eventually mix and the borders of the water are not static and keep on varying.

While the photo and the scientific reasoning behind this photograph is cool, what we learn from this is not to believe anything and everything that you read on Internet, at least till you know the real facts that lie beneath.

place where two oceans meet but don't mixPC: Ken Bruland/adn

Because anything bad that has no information is wrong information!

The news was first featured on

Facebook Cover by  Kent Smith(flickr)

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The place where two oceans meet - the gulf of alaska
  • Thanks! You just explained in scientific terms exactly the point of the picture. They do not mix-well-eventually-they do mix-scientifically. But maybe just sometimes-you might just be over- “scientificatin.” Just enjoy the Amazing.

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  • hmm some people says that their,s a surface between the different water is it true ??

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