And that’s exactly what Haller and Beron-Vera have done in the pattern of currents in the south west Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic. A well-known phenomenon in this part of the world is called the Agulhas leakage which comes from the Agulhas current in the Indian Ocean.
“At the end of its southward flow, this boundary current turns back on itself, creating a loop that occasionally pinches off and releases eddies (Agulhas rings) into the South Atlantic,” they say.
These guys used satellite images of the South Atlantic Ocean from between November 2006 and February 2007 to look for vortices using a set of simple computational steps that spots black hole analogues.
In this three-month period, they found eight candidates, two of which turned out to be black hole analogues containing photon spheres. “We have found exceptionally coherent material belts in the South Atlantic, filled with analogs of photon spheres around black holes,” they conclude.
That’s an interesting result that could have significant implications for our understanding of the way ocean currents transport material. Since anything that gets into these black holes cannot get out, this should trap any garbage, oil or indeed water itself, moving it coherently over vast distances. “Beyond the mathematical equivalence, there are also observational reasons for viewing coherent…eddies as black holes,” say Haller and Beron-Vera.
The work also raises the possibility that black hole analogues will occur in other situations, such as in hurricanes and not just on Earth. By this way of thinking, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter might well be the most famous black hole in the Solar System.”
An intriguing possibility is that such remarkable vortices could be gateways to parallel worlds or other dimensions…