5 weeks 3 days
Submitted by Dan Murphy on Thu, 05/14/2009 - 18:59
May 14th, 2009
Hello again everyone. Sorry it has been so long since my last update. We have been really busy. I have been helping the scientists describe their cores of mud. Remember how I told you that the cores have to be cut in half? There is a special machine that cuts the cores, and it does it with wire!
The picture to the right is me using the joystick to help cut the cores. Since I last spoke to you, we have described 20 cores, the equivalent of 560 feet! That is more mud than our boat is long! These cores were taken by the scientists on the cruise before us, and they are very neat. The top part of the core switches colors between light brown and dark brown, until staying very pale yellow for a long time. And then, after 300 feet, they turned green! Bright green mud that looked like pistachio ice cream. You get green mud when the mud is very old and has a lot of mud over it. There are tiny tiny bugs (called bacteria) that live way down in the mud and don't like air. When they eat their food, they also eat iron, (which is a metal that your mommy and daddy's car is made of), which causes the mud to turn green.
When you live on a ship that does science all day long, that means that people eat their food at different times of day. So I eat dinner for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, and lunch is my dinner. I had chicken nuggets for breakfast, pancakes and french toast for lunch, and brisket and grouper for dinner.
We have finished the core that the last scientists left us, and we will not start digging up our new cores until Tuesday, so I will make sure to use this time to write to you and explain what mud is made of and how scientists read it. See you later!