dryriver writes: Nothing escapes the yawning chasm of a black hole. Not matter, sound nor even light. Normally confined to the reaches of space, black holes and their seemingly insatiable appetites for everything, have fascinated — and enlightened — scientists for years. Now, they may not have to look so far to study them. Researchers at Switzerland's ETH Zurich and the University of Miami say black holes are among us — at least, massive eddies in the southern Atlantic Ocean bear their telltale signatures. What a black hole is to light, an ocean eddy, scientists suggest, is to water. Dubbed maelstroms, they're bigger than cities, winding up billions of tonnes of ocean water so tightly, nothing escapes them. And scientists are discovering more every day. In a paper published earlier this month in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, George Haller, a professor at ETH Zurich and Francisco Beron-Vera of the University of Miami claim they can track and define these engorged eddies — a feat that has, until now, proven elusive. The ocean's natural turbulence has thwarted previous attempts to demarcate these islands of intensity. But, by studying satellite imagery, Haller and Baron-Vera were able to identify seven black-hole types in a group of eddies, called Agulhas Rings, that regularly appear off the tip of Africa.
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