Barnacles on MH370 Debris Could Unlock Mystery of Crash Location


Researchers from the University of South Florida are investigating barnacles found on debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 to potentially determine the crash location of the ill-fated plane that disappeared in 2014. The fate of MH370, which vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, including six Australians, has remained one of aviation’s greatest mysteries. While debris believed to be from the aircraft has washed up along the African coast and Indian Ocean islands, the exact crash site remains unknown. The study relies on the idea that barnacles’ shells retain information about water temperatures during their growth, which could be used to track their movement and, by extension, pinpoint where MH370 hit the sea.

French researchers were among the first to examine the barnacles on the debris and suggested that they may have formed shortly after the crash. The official search by Malaysia, Australia, and China was suspended in 2016, with the agreement that it would only resume if credible evidence identifying a location surfaced. An additional search by a US technology firm called Ocean Infinity concluded in May 2018, yielding no answers about the plane’s whereabouts. Despite these challenges, this innovative research offers a new avenue of investigation to uncover the truth about the MH370 mystery and bring closure to the families of the victims.