There is a river in the ocean. In the severest droughts it never fails, and in the mightiest floods it never overflows. Its banks and its bottom are of cold water, while its current is of warm. The Gulf of Mexico is its fountain, and its mouth is in the Arctic Sea. It is the Gulf Stream.

— Matthew Fontaine Maury

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The rules of scientific investigation always require us, when we enter the domains of conjecture, to adopt that hypothesis by which the greatest number of known facts and phenomena may be reconciled.

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It is a custom often practiced by seafaring people to throw a bottle overboard, with a paper, stating the time and place at which it is done. In the absence of other information as to currents, that afforded by these mute little navigators is of great value.

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Could the waters of the Atlantic be drawn off, so as to expose to view this great sea-gash, which separates continents, and extends from the Arctic to the Antarctic, it would present a scene the most rugged, grand, and imposing. The very ribs of the solid earth, with the foundations of the sea, would be brought to light, and we should have presented to us at one view the empty cradle of the ocean.

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