UBC researchers study ocean stress on seaweed

I am always so amazed at the questions that people are seeking to answer. The universe is such a complex, wonderous place - why isn't everyone a scientist?

In the basement lab, researchers did their tests with a flume machine. The setup against a wall has a long rectangular water tank resembling an aquarium. It is bracketed by a u-shaped, white pipe. Researchers set the speed of water funnelled through the pipe. Velocities for the tests reached up to 3.5 metres per second.

The seaweed samples were hung into the tank from hooks with devices in them that measured the drag they experienced. Some of the stand-in seaweeds had branches. Other samples did not. The team was interested in how the varied samples experienced drag.

“We wanted to understand how they were experiencing these big waves and if there was any kind of cost that went along with branching,” Prof. Martone said.
— http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/ubc-researchers-study-ocean-stress-on-seaweed/article22235391/