LIVE SCIENCE! A hurricane the size of Irma can cause extensive damage on land with massive storm surges, excessive rainfall and raging winds. But what exactly happens below the ocean's surface, in the deep sea, when these storms pass through?
Hurricanes can be death sentences for coral and sea creatures that are territorial, meaning they won't leave their homes to flee to safety, or for creatures that are slow swimmers, such as the seahorse, researchers told Live Science. Other animals, such as sharks and some fish, simply swim out of danger's way.
Man-made objects stationed underwater can be blasted by powerful, hurricane-driven currents, said Curt Storlazzi, a geological oceanographer with the U.S. Geological Survey.Those objects can include long-lost shipwrecks, gas and oil pipelines and fiber-optic cables, he added. [Hurricane Irma Photos: Images of a Monster Storm]