Only 2-5% of the Earth’s oceans are studied. What’s hidden behind those 95-98%?
World Oceans Day is the perfect time to remind everyone that another world exists just next to (and below!) us. Intensive study of the oceans began only in the second half of the 20th century and the sad fact is that the Moon and Mars are studied more than the oceans around us.
According to various sources, only 2-5% of the Earth’s oceans are studied in earnest. So what’s hidden behind those 95-98%? Find 7 answers below!
6. Did you know that rivers flow underwater?
At the bottom of the oceans, there are rivers, or so-called "cold trickles." These underwater sites appear where hydrogen sulfide, methane and other hydrocarbons seep through cracks from the bottom, mix with seawater, and then are slowly moving like rivers.
Scientists believe that cold trickles appear in tectonically active zones of the oceans. For example, this phenomenon was first registered in the Japan trench, where the oceanic Earth's crust dives under the mainland.
5. Did you know that the underwater falls exist?
Besides underwater rivers there are waterfalls as well. And some of them are much higher of their land "counterparts." We know of only 7 underwater waterfalls.
The reason for their occurrence is the uneven distribution of temperature and salinity in different parts of the ocean, as well as the difficult terrain of the seabed. The more dense water tends to sink to replace the less dense water.
The largest of the now well-known underwater waterfalls is located at the bottom of the Denmark Strait, which separates Greenland and Iceland. It is about 4000 meters high (over 13,000 feet)!
4. Did you ever see the milk sea?
Sometimes the ocean can give birth to the "milk of the sea." This is an amazing and rare sight for a human eye. Despite the fact that there are a lot of photos of the phenomenon, scientists are not sure about its causes.
According to one version, the "sea of milk" appears due to fluorescent bacteria Vibrio harveyi, which creates a lasting glow on the water surface.
3. Do you know the deepest spot in the ocean?
The Mariana trench is 36,200 feet below the sea level. It’s the deepest and the lowest spot on Earth. It’s impossible for humans to survive at its bottom, but spineless species can easily do this. However, their appearance may scare you as they usually don’t have eyes and they just look ugly for us.
2. What are the largest and the smallest ocean inhabitants?
The biggest fish living in the oceans is a whale shark. Individual specimens of these species had a length of 12.65 meters and reached a weight of 21.5 tons. Today, whale sharks live in all tropical and warm temperate seas.
But the largest mammal of the oceans, of course, is the blue whale. Its length is 33 meters, and the animal's weight can exceed 150 tons.
The smallest fish in the oceans is called Schindleria brevipinguis. It lives in Barrier Reef coral lagoons. This type of fish reaches only 8.4 mm in length.
1. Is the Bermuda Triangle mystery revealed?
The Bermuda Triangle is one of the most mysterious and undiscovered places in the Atlantic ocean. There are a few theories that attempt to explain the mystery of the Bermuda triangle from a scientific point of view.
One of them is that huge waves with a 30m height can easily cause sudden disasters. Another is that the ocean can generate infrasound waves that provoke panic among the crew, as a result of which people throw themselves overboard.
Some scientists say that giant bubbles filled with methane gas go up to the surface and when the ship or an airplane gets into such a bubble, they will inevitably go to the bottom.
One more theory is simply that the powerful and warm Gulf Stream can cause a sudden change of the weather in the Bermuda Triangle which is trouble for ships and aircraft. And, it doesn’t help that the seascape (or “topography”) of the Bermuda Triangle under the water does not allow us to easily find the remains of sunken ships and aircraft.