Water And Oceanography

How the Oceans Tides are Affected by the Moon

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"How the Oceans Tides are Affected by the Moon"
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The moon may be for lovers after all because it is so attractive to the earth. The moon has many subtle gravitational effects but the most obvious in our experience is the movement of the tides. The moon exerts an attraction to the earth and to our bodies as well but it is minimal. The waters of the ocean, however, are much more inclined to "lean" toward the attractive moon. When the moon and sun are in alignment, both pulling on the earth, we can have some pretty spectacular tides.

Because of the amount of water in the human body, the moon may exert more influence on our inner tides than we suspect but no one knows for sure what influence that might have. As detached as the moon seems to be, the importance of the movement of the tides in the creation of weather all over the world is essential. A number of aquatic creatures also use the tides to time the laying of eggs in the sands at low tide. Sea turtles pay attention to the tides and some fish, such as the grunion, flock to the sand during certain times of the year.

In southern California people would flock to the beach at sunset and wait for the grunion to run. They are small fish and some people have heated oil in pans and pick up the flopping fish with their bare hands. They drop them in the oil and eat them like fresh potato chips. For me, the grunion hunt was more of a social occasion and I'm not sure I ever saw a single one of the little buggers.

More about this author: Bob Trowbridge

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