Guy captures the moment a river cuts a new channel to the ocean

We’ve been waging a desperate war to keep the Mississippi from doing this at the Atchafalaya River for generations. It wants a new outlet to the gulf at Morgan City and would leave New Orleans if not high and dry, at least without fresh water. The great John McPhee wrote about it in The Control of Nature.


Looking at the start of the first video… I’d be pretty sure that he’s kicked this off with the stick (dropped to the right) making the scrapes from the estuary side (on the left).

…but that said, it seems kosher that this could have gone at any time.

As it was mentioned, this happens every year. You can see more context by looking at it on a map/aerial image:

On a side note,the relationship between the actual length a meandering river and the straight line length
is close to Pi.


The Saudis are planning to dig their own channels in the Persian Gulf.

not necessarily good for the environment. Depends on the species there, and if they are ready for the breach or if they would rather it beach the following month when they are ready (and it naturally occurs).

This. The entire time I was screaming inside “You’re on the wrong side! jump over while you can you fool!”


Does he know where the original outlet to the ocean is? Might have been nice to know that.

In those first 5 minutes or so it’s like a miniature time lapse of the creation of the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.

In Antarctica, a tiny rivulet dribbles towards the ocean…

Is there any reason to think that this isn’t the original outlet? That bridge looks like it’s been there a while.

Plus, bull sharks on the other side, revving their engines:

Mmm, more like the Bosphorus formed by an overflowing ancient lake. There was a recent discovery that the English Channel was similarly formed by a glacial dam breaking. The Grand Canyon was formed by simultaneous erosion by the river and the tectonic lifting up of the plate.

It appears to be an intermittent river that flows to the ocean in heavy rains. A previous potential breach site further north in the flood plain appears to be now blocked by a road, probably to keep that town on the river.

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