back to article Existence of 'Sea of Krakens' on Titan confirmed

International boffins are chuffed as ninepence this week to announce that they have confirmed the existence of the "Sea of Krakens", a 150,000-square-mile* lake of liquefied patio gas near the north pole of Titan, ice moon of Saturn. Sunlight glinting from the Sea of Krakens in the Titanian arctic. Credit: JPL Sunlight …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Patio-gas and no oxygen

    .. yeah, and if there was oxygen there, we would probably have one mighty explosion in our Solar System. Is that the "Anti-Patio Heater" campainers I hear running to their shuttles?!

    Mine's the one with "Patio Heaters - The Big Bang Theory" in the pocket

    1. JCL

      Patio Heaters - The Big Bang Theory

      Written by the late Douglas Adams?

  2. breakfast Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The ride of your life

    When I see that name, I start to wonder how big of a saddle you would need for a Kraken Mare....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Earth and Titan are thus the only bodies in the solar system with surface geology moulded by movements of liquid."

    I thought a lot of Mars' surface geology was believed to have been caused by erosion by water?

    1. Alex 32


      i thought it had partly been shaped by seas, but the current surface geology was by sandstorms, no?

      .. now I'm thinking of trawling through Spirit and Opportunity's archives! Bliss!

    2. Richard 102


      Maybe. My understanding is that MOST of Martian surface geology, outside of the cratered areas, was caused by the first stages of plate tectonics. However, Mars being smaller, it didn't have quite the internal heat from accrection and radioactivity to start with, and lost heat more quickly than Earth. Also, it doesn't have a large satellite raising tides on the crust. So Mars started out with vulcanism/plate tectonics/etc, but couldn't quite keep it going.

      To show one difference: there was a hot spot under the Martian surface that created Olymus Mons, the largest volcano in the solar system. A similar hotspot on Earth created the chain of the Hawaiian Islands, which formed one by one as the Pacific Plate passed over it.

      Now, having said all that, there is evidence for flow erosion in some places. However, it could have been water, or lava, or ice working over a very long time. We just don't know yet, IIRC.

  4. Mike 140

    Vast 19-Wales sized*

    But how many Nelson's Column is the depth?

    1. Mike Flugennock

      British-to-US Unit conversion

      "But how many Nelson's Column is the depth?"

      ...or, for us Yanks -- how many Washington Monuments would that be?

  5. Spiracle

    Earth, Titan and ...

    "Earth and Titan are thus the only bodies in the solar system with surface geology moulded by movements of liquid."

    Apart from Mars (and maybe Io if you call lava a liquid).

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
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    That noise you hear...

    ...are ESSO, Shell, Texaco and Sinopec rockets blasting off for some exploitation.

    It's good to know that we can have all the plastics in the world that we want if we can only get out of Low Earth Orbit.

  7. Steve X


    Patio heaters round here run on propane. A lake of liquified methane could perhaps be more accurately described as 150,000 square miles of liquified cow farts (LCF ?) , although I can see why a family paper like El Reg would shrink from such a comparison.

    No, hang on a minute, I can't see why at all...

    Presumably on Titan they run their patio heaters from tanks of oxygen. Throw another kraken steak on the barbie, and hand me a warm beer...

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I'll get the shrimps..

    You bring the tinnies mate...

    I predict an Australian space program to be anounced any time now..

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I want to go there!

    Now i'm all sad that we aren't all going to be zooming around the solar system in our own little spaceships anytime during my life.

  10. Bassey


    "otherworldliness" - what was he expecting on another world? Deja vu?

  11. Peter Thomas 2

    I am so glad

    ...that no-one has made a politically incorrect joke about the German who discovered it, having already laid down a sun-towel there.

  12. h.a.l.



    1. Ray0x6




  13. Paul RND*1000

    Now all we need... to find a planet with huge, deep oceans of crude oil, and you can bet that NASA will get all the funding it needs, stat.

  14. Stevie


    <<Also, for anyone wondering why the whole of Titan doesn't catch fire, explode etc, there is of course no free oxygen in the atmosphere there for all the patio-gas to burn with, as we have here on Earth.>>

    And, more significantly, there's no atmosphere-exploding Large Hadron Collider on Titan (yet).

  15. Anonymous Coward

    But where...

    ...Is the Kraken? Is science still trying to deny the "myth" of the kraken? Do they really expect us to buy into their "story" of a kraken-free solar system? I think we would all agree that such an idea is patently preposterous.

    A comprehensive analysis of the research activities of such esteemed oceanographic science organisations as the Woods Hole institute show that they have conveniently and consistently managed to neglect on the order of 30% of the worlds surface from their research activities. Working this figure into extrapolations based on the territorial and schooling behaviours of the common cuttlefish, I think it is safe to assume that there must certainly be on the order of 1.8 million Kraken being conveniently concealed by modern science - and probably more.

    This whitewashing of the kraken from the face of titan is more telling than any legitimate scientific investigation of their existence could ever be. Clearly the idea of a supercooled ocean of liquid hydrocarbons is a fabrication playing on the modern person's misplaced belief in liquified gas storage here on earth. Obviously if gasses were liquified (as if that premise weren't insane enough to prove my point already) they would ooze all over our barbecues and flood from our heaters to stain our carpets. No. The oceans of Titan are water, like all other extraterrestrial oceans, and, like ours, it is home to the kraken. Probably the highly aggressive schooling Space-Kraken, with its titanium carapace and laser-tentacles.

    1. Alan Newbury


      Whatever he's on, I want some.

      Beer, because that's a good start.

  16. Bobster

    Let me be the first...

    To welcome our Patio Gas-breathing Overlords...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Mars was formed by water before it's atmosphere was removed (probably near meterorite passing) now it is wind affected in what's left of it's atmosphere. At least that is what I learned in my geology degree modules the "Geology of mars."

    There is evidence of Venus having liquid affected land masses, afterall the 1960's probe sent by USSR dissolved after sending it's first transmissions / photos by the acid rain which basically corroded the probe in less than an hour or so. We saw the land scape in the photo's and know it rains acid as a liquid. Fair to assume then that the land is affected by liquids.

    I dare say the other moons we are not that bothered about have similar setups.

    Still I can't help but find it odd when I read the idea of a project to "Sail the frozen seas of Titan." How can you sail ice exactly, surely it would be ski, or drive?

    1. Steve X

      Geology of Mars?

      Areology, surely?

    2. pitagora

      not frozen

      nobody said they were frozen. We are talking about methane here. It's liquid at that temperature. So sailing is an accurate description.

  18. Sceptical Bastard

    @ Mike 140

    Nelson's Column???

    Surely the UK unit of depth is St Paul's Cathedral? In 'Murrca it's the Empire State Building. So there are 3.42 St Pauls to one Empire State. A Nelson's Column would be just under 0.5 of a St Pauls - too short for anything except small extra-terrestrial lakes. (In France, they cling to a unit of depth called the Eiffel Tower but, it being French, no-one else in the world gives a toss.)

    As to units of area, I'm sure El Reg published a rundown of these some while ago. I distinctly remember a Wales in the list but not a Windermere. There was also a measure for the volume of Bulgarian airbags IIRC.


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Add oxygen and a match what do you get?

    Deep fried kraken soup!

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