When we think of the ocean we think of lots of things—salt, whales, James Cameron, to name a few—but now thanks to NASA we're going to have to add Vincent Van Gogh to the list. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center this week released a time-lapse video, "Perpetual Ocean," made using ocean flow data during the period from June 2005 through December 2007. And it is gorgeous:

Want more? NASA has more for you right here (you can even download the video for your own use). As for how the video was actually made:

This visualization was produced using NASA/JPL's computational model called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2. ECCO2 is high resolution model of the global ocean and sea-ice. ECCO2 attempts to model the oceans and sea ice to increasingly accurate resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow-current systems which transport heat and carbon in the oceans.The ECCO2 model simulates ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization. The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.

This visualization was created as a last minute entry for theSIGGRAPH 2011 computer animation festival; however, it was not accepted.