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Barnacles on Debris Could Provide Clues to Missing MH370

Barnacles encrusted on a piece of plane debris that washed up on the French island of Reunion might help unravel the mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that disappeared last year with 239 passengers and crew on board.

Malaysia said on Sunday the piece of debris, a 2-2.5 metre (6.5-8 feet) wing surface known as flaperon, had been identified as being from a Boeing 777, the same model as the missing Malaysian plane. Investigators in France are expected to determine whether the piece came from MH370 or not by Wednesday.

MH370 is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, about 3,700 km (2,300 miles) away from Reunion.

Based on photographs, ecologists in Australia believe the crustaceans clinging to the wing piece are goose or stalk barnacles.

“Barnacle shells … can tell us valuable information about the water conditions under which they were formed,” said Ryan Pearson, a PhD student at Australia’s Griffith University who is studying the shell chemistry of barnacles to determine migration patterns of endangered loggerhead turtles.

Read more at Reuters

 

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