The ocean is big, blue and beautiful. But what’s really going on down there? It’s arguably the most fascinating part of this planet. These incredible ocean facts will prove this.
The Ocean Is Big – Oceans cover about 70% of the earth’s surface. The average depth is about 12,000 feet or 3,700 meters. About 97% of the planet’s water is in the ocean. The deepest point is about 36,000 ft/11,000 m.
We Hardly Know The Ocean – Humans have explored just about 5% to 7% of all the oceans in the world. Its home to a whole lot of things, most of which we haven’t discovered yet. We have better maps of Mars than we do of the ocean. Water warping light makes it hard to use traditional imaging equipment, and its different atmospheric pressures don’t allow us to go into the deepest areas. In fact, we may never be able to map the entire ocean floor.
The Diversity Is Mind Blowing – There are more than 200,000 species of marine life. For every species we know, there are 2 or 3 more that we know absolutely nothing about. In fact, National Geographic speculated in 2011 that 86% of the species is yet to be classified. There are many undiscovered wonders, some of which we will learn in the coming years. This includes all sorts of beautiful, creepy, fascinating species.
Ocean Life Is Really Old – It is estimated that ocean life started as early as 3.4 billion years back. Land dwellers arrived a mere 400 million years ago.
Oxygen – The prize for the most-used resource amongst humans goes to the oceans. Their plants provide half of the world’s oxygen, their creatures provide a primary food source to 3.5 billion and they even help our economy, as 1 out of 6 jobs are marine related. The majority of the world’s oxygen comes from tiny ocean organisms called phytoplankton.
Sharks – Sharks are super skilled killers, but you don’t have to be too scared. About 80% of the sharks are unable to hurt humans. In fact, only 32 out of the 440 species have been documented to attack humans. Actually, the sharks are under serious threat themselves. Up to 99% of some shark species have been eradicated. Sadly, around 3 sharks are killed every second on average. Statistically speaking you have a higher chance of dying from a mosquito bite than from a shark attack. Sharks have 10x better vision than humans.
Jellyfish – People are afraid of sharks, but jellyfish is the real threat. The jellyfish has in fact claimed 15-30 times more lives than sharks.
White Shark Café – There is an area known as the “White Shark Cafe” where great white sharks congregate. This is located in a deep area of the Pacific Ocean. Scientists are not certain exactly why the sharks do this, but it is probably because of hunting or mating.
Squid – The giant squid was thought to be a myth until it was seen alive in 2001. A resident of the deep ocean, the giant squid belongs to the family Architeuthidae. It can grow to an impressive size of up to 13m (43ft) for females and 10m (33ft) for males thanks to deep-sea gigantism. Japanese researchers took the first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat in 2004. In July 2012 a live adult was first filmed off Chichi-Jima. Squids will sometimes reach their tentacles into passing boats.
Corals – The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is the world’s largest single structure made up of living organisms. It is the world’s biggest coral reef system stretching 1,400 miles (2,300 km), and can be seen from outer space. The reef structure is made of billions of tiny organisms called “Coral Polyps”. Reefs are very important for the ocean’s eco-system. Many fish species nest here. Predators arrive to pray on them.
Corals for Health – Coral is saving human limbs. Not only is coral being used as material for bone grafts in humans, but bio-medical studies have revealed that coral can play a vital role in bone healing as well. Coral reefs and their inhabitants are being used and studied for medical uses in cancer treatment, pain killers, antiviral treatments and others.
Whale – The Blue whale is the largest and heaviest animal ever. Interestingly, over 35 whales beach themselves every year. Nobody is quite sure why.
Underwater Canyons, Mountains and Volcanoes – You will find them all below the ocean. In fact, the volcanoes are bigger than Mt. Everest, which is the highest in the World at 8,850m (29,035ft). However, when measured from its base deep in the Pacific Ocean, an inactive volcano by the name of Mauna Kea is the tallest at 10,210m (33,500ft).
Underwater Rivers – When hydrogen sulfate mixes with salt water, it makes the water denser and it sinks, flowing at the bottom of the ocean like a river.
Underwater Forests – There are underwater forests complete with their own logging industries. The underwater tree industry is estimated to be worth about $40 billion as it is preserved by cold water. This preservation has kept away insects and stopped the wood from rotting.
Descend to the Deepest Point – Mariana Trench is the deepest area of the ocean. Thousands of climbers have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. However, just two people have descended to the planet’s deepest point, the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench. The Challenger Deep lies 200 miles (233 km) southwest of Guam and is nearly 7 miles (11 km) deep.
Rockall – There is a 30m wide rock protruding from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean that has had less than 20 people walk on it. The rock or “islet” is called “Rockall” and stands 290 miles (467 km) west of Great Britain. It is 230 miles (370 km) away from the nearest inhabited island (Outer Hebrides).
Mid-Ocean Ridge – Mid-Ocean Ridge is the largest continuous mountain chain. It rises above the ocean’s surface in a few places, such as Iceland. It is four times longer than the Himalayas, the Andes, and the Rocky Mountains combined.
Gold in the Ocean – The Earth’s oceans contain almost 20 million tons of gold. But it is not very easy to mine this, as most of the undissolved gold deposits are a mile or two under water and incased in rock. There is gold in the ocean water as well, but there is just 13 billionths of a gram of gold in each liter of sea water.
Largest Museum – The deep sea is the largest museum on Earth. There are more artifacts and remains of history at the bottom of the ocean than in all the museums combined. You will get everything from sunken ships, to crashed planes and even entire cities. Off the coast of Cuba, researchers believe they have found an ancient city that is mentioned in Mayan stories. No, it’s not Atlantis.
Swimming – Swimming in the open ocean is a very different experience compared to swimming at the beach. Whether you look in front, behind or beneath you, it will be darkness within 30-40 feet.
Alien – The movie “Alien” was inspired by a transparent deep-sea parasite that eats creatures from the inside out and takes over their bodies. The parasite is called “Phronima” and is behind the infamous chest bursting xenomorph scene from the 1979 film, Alien. The tiny creatures are found throughout the oceans, except the colder waters of the Polar regions.
Underwater Spiders and Birds – There are both underwater spiders and underwater birds. If you thought you were escaping the horrendous terror of spiders when you jumped into the water, you’d be wrong. Spiders live there too. And these are real creepy spiders. They use a special web that works like an oxygen tank. They bring down air bubbles in their abdomen and turn them into web. The spider then waits for its prey hidden underwater.
Finally, if you have a spare 10minutes this is a really cool clip on the Mariana Trench.