Cool Water Cracking

I just noticed this on a flight across the mediterranean near the south tip of Italy. The water looks like it’s “crazed” with lines travelling randomly.

I really like this new look/feature. If anyone has ever seen the sea near shore, you’ll typically find that the water in the vicinity of shipping lanes is heavily crazed from ship passages “cutting a path” in the water that remains visible long after the ship is gone.

Does anyone know what this phenomenon is?

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We called it “slick”, its a few different things, sometimes its just upwelling and currents, or gusts of wind, or even biologics that change the surface tension of the water. Theres no single thing but my experience boating we associated it with fish.

Theres naturally occuring surface slicks, ribbon-like, smooth water features at the ocean surface made up of oils and biologics/plankton etc. Then theres hydrocarbon slicks that are associated with human activity - so little films of gasoline or oil from shipping. To a certain extent all of these things combine to create the effect that you are seeing being simulated in MSFS.

Heres some more info from Hawaii


I call it slick too. I think a lot of times it’s a biologic reaction causing separation in the water, but there is also a lot of unfortunate waste from shipping lanes that drift and cause the same effect.