Researchers are trying to determine what effect a giant eddy off Cape Mendocino has on marine life.
Researchers at Humboldt State University and the University of California, Davis have watched the eddy evolve over the past two months. They say it may be the biggest, most noticeable water feature on the West Coast, according to the Times Standard.com.
Scientists say the massive swirl of water appears to be seasonable. It's been spotted from space and by ships. It's about 110 miles in diameter and swirls at up to 1.5 miles an hour.
The eddy may interfere with how nutrients and marine species are moved to more southern waters -- affecting how marine protected areas are set up along the coast.