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. news.yahoo.com/photos/snapshots-week-of-june-3-1307133161...
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 www.hoaxorfact.com/Most-Read.html
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.