ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hurricanes are devastating for life on land, but they can also be a death sentence for marine life and coral underwater.
Obviously hurricanes create wind, which creates waves -- massive waves.
Those waves mix warmer, surface water with the cold, saltier water below, and the currents that come from this mixture can be deadly for marine life.
Fast swimmers like sharks and whales are able to get out of harm's way in time by detecting small pressure changes in the water.
But, for slow swimmers like sea horses, sea turtles and oysters -- they get smashed around by the waves and are often times obliterated by rough undercurrents and rapid changes in water temperatures.
Coral isn't much better off.
Even if they aren't broken up by the currents, rain-infused water reduces saltwater, causing stress on the coral. As a hurricane moves toward the shore, all the craziness going on underwater causes sand to shift and muddy shallow water -- which blocks essential sunlight.
Typically, coral reefs ravaged by hurricanes take 15 to 20 years to recover.
These large currents can also unearth buried ships, even things like gas and oil lines and fiber optic cables.
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