An Amazing Visualization of Ocean Currents

The lines, curves, and whorls made by ocean currents in NASA's Perpetual Ocean video look like they were taken straight out of Vincent van Gogh's A Starry Night. All the pretty strokes came courtesy of the space agency's Scientific Visualization Studio, which took satellite data about ocean currents from June 2005 to December 2007 and turned them into an animation using software from Pixar. They wanted their visualization to be special, but artistic beauty in the style of the Dutch Post-Impressionist wasn't the goal. "I think in this case it’s sort of fair to say it was a fortuitous accident," Dr. Horace Mitchell, the center's director, told Mashable.

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