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Sunday, June 23, 2024  
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MH370 mystery: Experts claim barnacle shells hold answer to finding plane

Largest barnacles attached were old to have colonised wreckage shortly after crash, says French scientist
Malaysia Airlines aircrafts taxi on the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Reuters
Malaysia Airlines aircrafts taxi on the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Reuters

Experts have claimed that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that was lost almost a decade ago could be found using the barnacle shells clinging to the plane’s debris.

A new study reported that barnacle shells on the plane’s debris can provide information related to different water temperatures those shells have been exposed to during their time.

Experts stated that they can locate the movements to where they first attached themselves to the debris and place MH370 hit the water.

Flaperons are the movable control surfaces located along the trailing edge of an aircraft’s wings, serving a dual purpose, functioning as both flaps and ailerons.

Daily Mail reported that Gregory Herbert, University of South Florida’s associate professor of evolutionary biology, led the new study. He looked at the image of the plane’s debris shored Reunion Island off the coast of Africa a year after the crash.

“As soon as I saw that, I immediately began sending emails to the search investigators because I knew the geochemistry of their shells could provide clues to the crash location,” Professor Herbert said.

Satellite imagery and radar scans have been used for years to search the suspected crash site, but have been unable to definitively locate the exact position of the missing plane.

Scientists believe that analysing the barnacles that may have accumulated on the wreckage could provide valuable clues as the shells of such small marine organisms contain a historical record of their life cycle, much like the growth rings in a tree trunk.

“The largest barnacles attached were possibly old enough to have colonised on the wreckage very shortly after the crash and very close to the actual crash location where the plane is now,” French scientist Joseph Poupin said.

‘Sadly, the largest and oldest barnacles have not yet been made available for research,’ Professor Herbert said.

However, Herbert emphasised the method that can help reconstruct a complete drift path back to the crash origin.

“Investigators have good reason to believe that the plane is somewhere along the seventh arc,” Professor Herbert told the new outlet.

On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared from radar shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The aircraft, carrying 239 passengers and crew, was en route to Beijing when it lost contact with air traffic control approximately one hour into the flight. The fate of the plane and those on board has remained a mystery since the plane’s sudden and inexplicable disappearance over the Indian Ocean.

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