An Underwater Waterfall?
The Island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean hosts a truly remarkable sight. Just off the coast there appears to be an underwater waterfall. This phenomenon is most prominent when looked at from an aerial view, as in this image.
Now, fluid dynamics can produce some wondrous effects, but, is cold dense water responsible for this phenomenon?
Nope, but there’s still a cool explanation which delves into the topography of the sea floor.
Mauritius is located at the southern edge of the Mascarene Plateau, a prominent shelf which can be seen in this image. The depth of the water above the shelf ranges from around 8-150 metres. However, where that shelf ends, there is a massive plunge into the Ocean depths. How massive? We’re talking from going from 150 metres to many thousands of metres.
What you’re witnessing, that looks like an underwater waterfall, is actually sand from the shores of Mauritius being driven via ocean currents off of that high, coastal shelf, and down into the darker ocean depths off the southern tip of the island.