Merging Oceans - (1,060,000+ Views)

Information on the subject:

I thought this was the most unusual thing I saw on the Alaskan cruise in the water. These two bodies of water were merging in the middle of the Alaskan gulf and there was a foam developing only at their junction.


I thought this was an example of a Halocline described on Wikipedia. A few people have commented that a Halocline is more of a horizontal phenomenon and this is more vertically oriented.


I am pretty confident that what you are seeing is a result of the melting glaciers being composed of fresh water and the ocean has a higher percentage of salt causing the two bodies of water to have different densities and therefore makes it more difficult to mix. I'm told they will eventually mix given enough time.


People have asked me if I just happened to look out over the edge of the ship deck and see this. Actually I had been on the deck for quite some time when I noticed what appeared to be a shadow cast by clouds over the ocean about 5 miles in front of the ship. As we approached the shadow I realized it was something different. I took many shots up to the point I shot this one, but never posted them until a year after this image went viral. I really posted them to convince people I did not Photoshop this image. See the other shots here.


Information on the photograph and high view count:

On January 20, 2011, this image was viewed 71,000 times in one day. That was more times than all my other photos, sets, collections, and photostream for the 18 months prior to that date and on that date this photo was not even registered as my most interesting according to Flickr. You can see them here in my other most interesting photos according to Flickr.


On September 20, 2011, this image went through another viral surge and was viewed 177,456 times that one day, almost 50% of the total number of views it had seen since I first posted it. The following day it only saw 98,285 views. And by the 3rd day it was back to it's prior daily view level of about 500-1000 views per day.


On September 22, 2011, I was asked by Yahoo News if they could use the photo on their images of the week pages.


If you want to read about this amazing high view count phenomenon see this link with the details.


The original site to start all the craziness was Tumblr and as of Jan 22, 2011, the number of comments on Tumblr alone was over 6,400. On March 7, 2011 Tumblr recorded 24,546 likes, comments, and rebloggs. As of Dec 23, 2011 16:00 the Tumblr notes were over 58,000 and climbing about 75 per minute.


The interestingness finally changed and on Jan 22, 2011 this photo was up to #23 in my photostream. As of February 13, 2011, it is up to #20. You can view all of them with a black background and they look much more impressive. As of February 12, 2011, it hit 100,000. On April 2 it hit 200,000 views with 352 favorites and 3 galleries.


In April 2012, the image reached 750,000 views and reached 1,000 favorites. On August 30, 2012 it hit 800,000 with 1,085 favorites and 10 gallery entries.


The AlaskaDispatch ran an article by Ben Anderson on February 5, 2013, discussing this phenomenon and linked back to this page referencing the large number of views it has seen. You can read Ben's article here.


On November 20, 2013, Hoax or Fact reported this was the 7th most viewed of the articles on their site


In early December, in honor of the image crossing 1,000,000 views I created a Merging Oceans Facebook page just for fun. Technically the view count crossed 1 million on December 11, 2013, but a problem with Flickr view count froze all views that day and did not continue counting lifetime views until December 12. That afternoon it showed the 1 million view crossing. People have commented that Flickr changed the view count system a while ago and made views arbitrarily higher than in the past, not necessarily related to the actual views, but this image has seen a pretty constant run of views per day since it first went viral, long before the view count system change.


A few other sites that currently link to the photo include:



















Image Filename Coincidence?

My Canon camera automatically names the images I shoot and advanced the numbers sequentially from 0000 to 9999. I find it quite interesting that this particular image is number 0666. I did not modify it.



  • Lenabem-Anna J. PRO 2y

    Excellent work!
    Thank you for sharing...
    Admired in :

    After receiving 5 or more "100 000+ Views" awards post
    Your image here:
  • fedor dezhnyk 2y

    Thank you for great photo. It is amazing to see great phenomena of the nature. But to all open minded people that believe in Quran, want to help you to see some of the facts that you don’t want to understand or simply do not know. First of all, we all have freedom to study, understand, and acknowledge different point of views no matter were they are coming from. And as intelligent beings, we are capable to conclusion of information that is presented in front of us. Information must be true and factually correct. Some facts about these phenomena:

    We see these proses of mixing salty and fresh water all over the world. Every time fresh water from river is interring in to ocean we have a merger point that create a murky water of mixing salt contents. At smaller river the line of mixing is small and sometimes hard to see or it is even in the river before the ocean. At bigger river it is easier to see, the point when fresh water is merging with salt water. This process of merging is easier to see in colder water and harder to see at wormer water. At wormer climate you may not notice difference on the surface of the water but, if you dive below water line you will clearly see murky area of the mixing salt and fresh water content. At colder climate sometimes it is easier to see do to visible color difference and bigger area of murky mix point. Sometimes Foam is formed do to presents of elevated chemical content in water such as Iron and sediments, usually brought down from mountains or river bed. But it is always mixing at different rates but eventually fresh water becomes salty and there is no barrier created that would prevent it from mixing.

    Now, let’s study geography. Please open maps of the world as we know it. There is a point in the northern hemisphere of our planet where North Pacific Ocean meets with Artic Ocean. More accurately: Chukchi Sea meets with Bearing Sea at Bering Strait. The distance of the meeting of two great oceans is very small, only 88.5 kilometers. Bering Strait is separating two continents of the land mass: North America and Asia. The tip of the North America is called Alaska. Alaska is a 49th state of USA. The tip of the Asia continent is Siberia. Siberia is a region of Russia. Unfortunately at Bearing strait we do not see any barrier between two oceans, water is very rough due to strong currents and high wind but, water can freely flow from one ocean to the other. It would be cool but it is not there.

    Let’s get back to the picture. Picture and phenomenon is observed approximately 1500km from Bearing strait and big land mass is separating it, It called Alaska. The pictures have been taken in Golf of Alaska at Copper River funnel and it is not meeting of two oceans as believed by some. Every summer we see melting of the Alaska glaciers. At wormer summers more and in colder summers less. Melting ice: as fresh water flowing down the streams forming rivers. When these rivers meet North Pacific Ocean at Cooper River Funnel, it creates this beautiful spectacle only at some summer months. Native people (Chukchi) have traveled and lived on these lands for thousands of years. Have some stores and writings dated up to two thousand years of similar occurrences all over the coastal areas when fresh water from melting ice meet ocean. I am very sorry to say to all Muslims that this is not a place that is described in Quran by Muhammad. May be there is such place but this is not it. If you are Muslim and truly have as you say OPEN HART and MIND to knowledge and wonders, if you do not have predigest. If this is true: then read books that is much older than Quran. Some of them you could find in book named Bible. If your hart and mind is open you will see that most of the stories and ideas that you find in Quran are in Bible especially in first part of it (Old Testament or Torah). Some of those stores have been written more than two thousand years before Quran was. And if your heart and mind is open you will find that Quran is bad copy of those books with many mistakes and discrepancies from originals.
  • k c lee 2y

  • Abu Kaysar 2y

    To Mr. Lee: Very nicely you've described the natural phenomenon. I fully agreed with you. But As a muslim, I disagree with your view stated at the end "And if your heart and mind is open you will find that Quran is bad copy of those books with many mistakes and discrepancies from originals." You must know if you have open mind that all the holly books revealed from almighty whatever you named Him. And you must agree that Quran is the latest version of those earlier books and is the only
    accurate, authentic & comprehensive book where you'll never be able to find out even any single mistake or misstatement. This challenge has been given in the holy Quran itself. You are requested to try also. Please do not put any unfair comment comment like this about any holy book.
  • Myles Green PRO 2y

    Hi Kent, I am seeking contacts from around the world.
    If you +ADD me as a contact I will +ADD you as one too.
    We will see each others recent uploads on the Photo Sharing Page.
    My photos stream is 99 percent Nature. Thanks Myles
  • Martin Ystenes PRO 2y

    One million....
  • jacinta lluch valero PRO 2y

    great ♥ ♥ ♥
  • Martin Ystenes PRO 2y

    12.12.2013, GMT: 23.03: 1,000,001 views! Congratulate!
  • Kent Smith PRO 2y

    Martin Ystenes Martin Ystenes Thanks!
  • meerantj 2y

    “He has let free the two bodies Of
    flowing water, Meeting together:
    Between them is a Barrier Which they
    do not transgress.”

    [Al-Qur’aan 55:19-20]
  • meerantj 2y

    “It is He Who has Let free the two
    bodies Of flowing water: One palatable
    and sweet, And the other salty and
    bitter; Yet has He Made a barrier
    between them, And a partition that is
    forbidden To be passed.”

    [Al-Qur’aan 25:53]
  • Mouhanad AbuMarzouk 1y

    this is very nice, you can find specific information about this in the Holy Qura'an where it described how to different seas with two different water are beside each others and do not merge
  • ep_jhu PRO 1y

    Pretty flower shot.
  • Ania.Photography - OFF PRO 1y

    Most unique

    I saw this in the 1.000+ Faves group.
  • Saad Haider 1y

    Then, We revealed to Moses saying that: Strike the sea with thy staff and it divided and each had been a separate part like a high, tremendous mountain.(AL_QURAN)
  • floato PRO 1y

    Wonderful. Thank you for sharing
  • Ben Rea PRO 11mo

    Isn't the internet just amazing? 1M views...and the snowball continues to grow :) congratulations.
  • bcr8tive 9mo

    Abu Kaysar

    I have issue with this. ALL of the books took many, many years to write. They were not written in a day nor were the stories written by one person. In the case of the Qu'ran, and more importantly, Muhammed, it is my understanding that he was completely illiterate til the day that he died. He could not read nor write. He told his story - and the stories were passed down - and eventually written down. (We all know how the game of gossip works - embellished, altered, slightly elaborated etc) -
    So it is easy to see and understand that the original vision, and words, and intent, could easily be interpreted and reinterpreted to what is now understood to be THE WORD.

    Human beings are born with the knowledge of right and wrong in their hearts - regardless of the 'religion' they choose and should meditate and pray on THAT knowledge and THAT truth to hear God themselves and STOP JUDGING everyone else.
  • Randy 7mo

    As for that specific photo, Bruland said that it shows the plume of water pouring out from one of these sediment-rich rivers and meeting with the general ocean water. It’s also a falsehood that these two types of water don’t mix at all, he said.

    “They do eventually mix, but you do come across these really strong gradients at these specific moments in time,” he said. Such borders are never static, he added, as they move around and disappear altogether, depending on the level of sediment and the whims of the water.
  • The Open Wall (Catching Up) PRO 11d

    Superb - have a good week :)
1,378 faves
Taken on July 4, 2010
  • EF28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
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