Semiquantitative calculations indicate that the energy in ocean bottom currents and expended by benthic organisms on the seafloor exceeds by many orders of magnitude the energy required to maintain manganese nodules at the sediment-water interface in the abyssal regions. The paradox of maintaining slow-growing manganese nodules at the surface of more rapidly accumulating sediment is therefore resolved. The surface characteristics of manganese nodules also suggest that smaller nodules (<2 cm) are more mobile on the seafloor than their larger counterparts. The force required to maintain nodules at the sediment-water interface is approximately proportional to the third power of nodule diameter. This explains why the thickest manganese deposits are found as manganese crusts in geologically old seamount provinces such as the northern end of the Emperor Seamount Chain and not as nodules resting on abyssal sediment.