Start the conversation
During the height of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy four years ago, I had my graduate students monitor the flow of oil from the sunken platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
Most of their work involved rather straightforward calculations based on undersea camera footage.
But from time to time, flimsy protoplasmic-like structures would float across the screen. The students called them "ghosts."
One student even casually wondered, "What if the ghosts had caused all of this?"
With that, I walked over, checked some figures, and immediately called the U.S. Coast Guard contingent that was overseeing the data from the disaster.
Fast forward to today, and there have been some equally disquieting discoveries in the news of late.
So what do mysterious holes in the Siberian permafrost, hundreds of gas plumes off the East Coast of the United States, and our "ghosts" apparently have in common?
It seems to be icy methane hydrates, touted by some as the fuel of the future…