The 16-month mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may soon be solved, and barnacles encrusted on a piece of plane debris that washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion may provide the missing piece of the puzzle.
Malaysia said on Sunday that the piece of debris, a wing surface known as flaperon, had been identified as being from a Boeing 777, the same model as the missing Malaysian plane.
Investigators in France are expected to determine whether the piece came from MH370 or not by Wednesday. MH370 is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, about 2,300 miles away from Reunion.
"Barnacle shells... can tell us valuable information about the water conditions under which they were formed," said Ryan Pearson, a PhD student at Australia's Griffith University who is studying the shell chemistry of barnacles to determine migration patterns of endangered loggerhead turtles.