Under-current

metaphorically means something at work which has an opposite tendency to what is visible or apparent. Thus in the Puritan supremacy there was a strong under-current of loyalty to the banished prince. Both in air and water there are frequently two currents, the upper one running in one direction, and the under one in another.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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