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February 12, 2019

A thick coat of young barnacles covers this orange float after it had been deployed in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska for 13 months. Ship hulls, instruments, buoys, and rigging lines provide convenient hard surfaces for barnacles, algae, and slimy gunk called biofilms to accumulate. This phenomenon, known as biofouling, is a longstanding problem for sailors and oceanographers. Over WHOI’s history, scientists and engineers have found ways to overcome the challenges biofouling presents. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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