Naked scientist: What happens to the debris washed away by a tsunami?

Whole cities and towns around the world have been gripped by the devastation caused by natural disasters like tsunamis. But what happens to the resulting debris - as well as the sea creatures exposed to it?

The New York Times reported this week, that the tsunami that devastated Japan six years ago also unleashed a massive invasion of marine life from across the Pacific Ocean.

Mussels, sea anemones and crabs are among some of the sea animals that were carried across the Pacific on huge amounts of floating debris.

The Naked Scientist, Chris Smith gives details on this and a runs through some of the debris that gets washed away and loiters in the ocean.

This material has made a 6 to 7 000 km journey across the Pacific ocean and has been detected along the seaboard of the US and Hawaii.

Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

This shows that very complex communities clinging to things like whole boats, they can survive and sustain a community in a reproductive state of organisms which can then travel very long distances between continents, transoceanically.

Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

They don't yet know if any of these 300 species are going to become invasive but they point out these animals have had a long time to adapt on the 5 or 6 year journey on the pacific.

Chris Smith, The Naked Scientist

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio...


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