Most humans have just dipped their toes into the sea, some fortunate few have donned mask and flippers to descend maybe 20 feet.
With a tank and scuba gear some venture further, possibly 120 feet. The world’s deepest free-dive set a record at 831 feet deep. Professional mariners in nuclear submarines have descended a bit over two thousand feet. Only to be exceeded by those intrepid explorers, probably less than a couple of hundred souls, cocooned in special submersibles that have descended into the deepest depths. So where did they go? And how deep is the ocean, really? (photo – Abbie Bernet, Unsplash)
These once inaccessible depths are now about to be tapped (some say pillaged) by mining companies using unmanned vehicles to scour the ocean floor for rare metals. We explore this new threat in “The New Gold Rush: The Debate Over Deep Sea Mining;” we think its appropriate to ask how deep Is deep? With the help of several very entertaining animations we can give you some perspective on this very deep subject.
Much Remains to be Revealed
Experts estimate that we have only explored about 5%-10% of the mass of the world’s oceans. Already, recent deep-sea ventures have brought back evidence of some pretty unique and special marine creatures. In 2016 at a depth of 14,000 feet (that’s 2.6 miles or 4,290 meters) below the surface of the North Pacific, NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer captured video of a “ghostly” octopod. That’s pretty special!
As one brilliant tactician said “we don’t know what we don’t know.” When applied to How Deep is the Ocean that means that thousands of marine species remain to be discovered. Pretty exciting stuff, if the mining companies don’t get there first. Don’t miss next week’s sequel “Deep Sea Mining” Part B.
How Deep Is the Ocean, Really
Here’s another animation with a slightly different take on How Deep is the Ocean. Maybe we should ask Sylvia Earle about this, because of course all her friends respectively refer to Sylvia as “her deepness.”
By Robert Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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