Dubai: If you were to drop a rubber duck roughly in the area of the Indian Ocean where MH370 is thought to have mysteriously ended in March 2014, that rubber duck would likely wind up on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion or the coast of Madagascar 16 months later, a web-based calculator shows.
The Australian academic site includes a timeline and calculator intended to hypothetically track massive 'garbage patches' around the world's vast oceans based on known current patterns.
Indian Ocean currents move in a rotating motion, according to the site, which is run by Dr Erik van Sebille at the University of New South Wales.
Try it here.
An ocean current is different from tidal movement. The sea current is a continuous, directed movement of seawater generated by forces acting upon its flow -- breaking waves, wind, the "Coriolis effect" (deflection of moving objects) as well as temperature and salinity differences.
Tides, on the other hand, are caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon.
The two-metre flaperon discovered on the French island is thought to belong a type of aircraft similar to the missing MH370.
And the reason why it ended up there is consistent with this site's calculations.
MH370 is thought to have crashed within the 120,000-square-kilometer (46,000-square-mile) search area, 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) southwest of Australia.
The aircraft wing piece found on Reunion island, about 6.5-8 ft (2m) in length, was taken to France for analysis. An aircraft part usually contains markings or numbers that should allow it to be traced to an individual aircraft.
It's been a year and four months since Flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared in the Indian Ocean, its last known position as tracked by a military radar.
There had been only five serious Boeing 777 crashes reported in the last 20 years since the twin-engine widebody came into service. The only B777 thought to have crashed south of the equator is the MH370.