Mystery bubbles raise questions

Giant crabs? A gas leak? Rotting vegetation?

Theories abound as to what is causing large bubbles to appear in the patch of water between Yarra’s Edge and Seafarers Bridge.

The bubbles have been a topic of conversation amongst waterways users recently, but according to Marina YE manager Allan Cayzer, they aren’t a new phenomenon.

Mr Cayzer said the bubbles had been appearing for at least as long as he had been working in the area, which is 10 years.

Mr Cayzer said the bubbles could be seen in both the marina and the river and so far no-one had been able to work out what
causes them.

He said he didn’t believe the bubbles were caused by marine life such as crabs because they were too gaseous.

Mr Cayzer said he thought the bubbles may be caused by decomposing vegetation which had floated down the river.

“We’ve had divers down there working on the marina but they haven’t found anything,” he said.

“It’s a phenomenon but we don’t know what causes it.”

Melbourne Water has been investigating the curious bubbles but has not yet been able to determine how they are being created.

Spokesperson Nicolas McGay said investigations had not yet resulted in a definitive cause for the bubbles.

“We have checked the infrastructure in the area but the bubbles appear in different locations making it hard to pinpoint a recurring source,” Mr McGay said.

Mr McGay also said decomposing matter could be a possible source of the bubbles.

“Anecdotally, we’re advised the bubbles have been happening for more than 10 years and there is a theory that it may be due to sediment and organic material on the river bed breaking down,” Mr McGay said.

“At this location the Yarra River widens and sediment accumulates due to the lack of movement through the system.”

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