Update: legendary oceanographer Dr. Kim Martini stops by to set the record straight on the challenging subject of internal waves. Her comments in bold.
It has been a long time since I’ve made an entry into our long-running, world-famous, Science of Aquaman series. The last few runs have been heavy on high adventure, but light on ocean tidbits for me to nerd out on. I don’t like to force ocean fact into comic fiction unless the opportunity presents itself.
So, with the newest run of Aquaman, starting with issue #50, focusing around a villain named Dead Water, I thought it was the perfect moment to talk about some physical oceanography. And then…
My hat’s off to Dan Abnett, who beat me to the science punchline. If I had to explain the phenomenon of dead water in a single tweet, it would have been pretty close to this. Well played, sir. Well played.
So what is dead water and why does it make maneuvering a vessel so challenging?