As we know our oceans cover a vast percentage of our planet and we have only explored about 5% of it. Therefore, it can be an intimidating place for us.
The following article argues that the ocean is scarier than space. A comparison is made between common oceanic events and their analogous frequency out in space.
The ocean is fascinating and a frontier that is fairly accessible to everyone. Whereas space is not easily accessible. Many spectacular facts about our oceans are used in the article. However, the comparisons are used in what I believe is a biased fashion to prove that the ocean is actually scarier than space.
I don’t believe you can compare our experiences with the ocean with those of Space. That is because space exploration gets billions of dollars and tons of research and preparation for each mission. Whereas, our experiences with oceans are vastly more frequent and typically way more casual. Therefore, while interesting, I don’t believe that a proper comparison is possible.
It’s Full of Black Holes
Think space is home to all of our black holes? Think again. In fact, the ocean is teeming with eddies similar to the black holes in space, meaning nothing in their path can escape. Scarier yet, the black holes in the ocean are massive, often measuring up to 93 miles in diameter. For context, that’s larger than the entirety of greater Los Angeles. And for more cool science, check out the 20 Types of Artificial Intelligence You Use Every Single Day And Don’t Know It.
We’re Constantly Discovering Terrifying New Creatures
If you think the beasts of the jungle are horrifying, you haven’t seen anything yet. Creatures like the fangtooth (!), goblin shark, and frilled shark are far more terrifying than anything you’d discover on land. Scarier yet, we’re always finding new monsters in the ocean: in fact, the largest colossal squid ever discovered was found just 11 years ago. Imagine what we’ll discover in the next 11 years. (As of this writing, we’ve yet to discover any extraterrestrial life.)
The Ocean is Home Base for Hurricanes
While hurricanes may cause the most devastation when they make landfall, their home base is in the ocean. And when these ocean-based storms touch down, they touch down hard; in 2017 alone, 103 Americans died as a result of injuries sustained in hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria. Solar flares—storms from space—harmlessly bounce off our ozone layer. And for more wild science trivia, check out the 25 Crazy Predictions About the Next 25 Years.
It’s understandable that you might not want to encounter a shark during your swim, but the pesky jellyfish—of which there are millions in the ocean—may actually be a greater threat to your life. Thanks to their venom and relative lack of detectability underwater, jellyfish have a body count that’s actually five times higher than that of sharks. Again, we’ve never encountered a single creature this terrifying out in the cosmos. And for more trivia straight out of the animal kingdom, check out these 40 Amazing Animal Facts.
The Ocean Floor is Littered with Shipwrecks
While it’s nice to imagine that there’s nothing but placid water below us when we’re taking a dip in the ocean, the reality is much more terrifying. In fact, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission estimates that the ocean floor is home to a staggering 3 million wrecked vessels. Space (designated as any elevation above the Karman Line) has claimed a comparatively few four vessels.
Of course, all those wrecked ships didn’t man themselves. In many cases, the bodies of crew members and passengers on shipwrecked vessels stay in the ocean for shockingly long periods of time. In 2014, researchers diving in an underwater cave off the coast of Mexico found the remains of a girl estimated to be at least 12,000 years old. In other words, the ocean is a cemetery. Space, not so much.
It’s a Lightning Magnet
While the ocean may not get struck by lightning as often as land, when it does, the results can be disastrous. Because water is a conductive substance, the lightning spreads rapidly and can electrocute any people, animals, and boats that are in it.
It’s a Bacterial Hotbed
Just because the tide is coming in and receding doesn’t mean that ocean water you’re taking a dip in is fresh, per se. The bad news for beach-goers is that parts of the ocean are teeming with bacteria—including that of the flesh-eating variety. Just last year, a woman developed necrotizing fasciitis after dipping her feet into the ocean off Myrtle Beach. A prokaryotic cell—the type of thing that, eventually, spawns disease—has never been discovered off Earth.
It’s Filled With Garbage
The ocean may look beautiful from that pristine stretch of beachfront you’re sipping your margarita on, but make no mistake: it’s a huge trash can. In fact, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which lives between California and Hawaii, has grown to 600,000 square miles—more than twice the size of Texas.
If You Crash in the Ocean, You’re a Goner
While there’s actually a good chance of surviving a minor plane crash—up to 95 percent, according to the National Transportation Safety Board—if you find yourself crashing into the ocean, you’re out of luck. Not only is the combination of a massive plane crash plus potential drowning situation pretty hard to come back from, in many cases, the wreckage from a plane crash in the ocean is never found.
This 500,000 square mile area of the Atlantic Ocean is steeped in terrifying mystery and folklore. As the legend goes, once a ship or vessel enters the Triangle, they’ll be lucky if they ever see the light of day again. According to History.com, the most chilling case of these mysterious disappearances occurred when the USS Cyclops, “a 542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard,” sank somewhere in the Triangle. The captain didn’t even find the time to send out an SOS signal. After exactly 100 years of endless searching, the cargo ship is still nowhere to be found. We’ve kept track of every ship that’s left orbit.
Much of the Ocean Remains Unexplored
Though scientists have taken the time to map out 100 percent of the moon and Mars, they’ve only managed to explore a whopping five percent of the ocean, according to the National Ocean Service.
10 People Drown Per Day in the United States
Yep, that’s right—an estimated 3,536 deaths occur each year by drowning—rounding to about ten per day just in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, drowning is the number one cause of deaths in children from one to four after birth defects. These statistics far outweigh the number of deaths in space, which, in over 50 years, have amounted to 21.
There’s a reason why the Jaws movies are so terrifying—because shark attacks are actually way more common than you think. Just in 2017, the world saw 88 unprovoked and 30 provoked shark attacks, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History. (Alien attacks: 0.)
…And Even More Terrifying Predators
But, as you already know, sharks aren’t the only danger swimming just beneath the surface. The National Ocean Service reports that the Australian Box Jellyfish is the most venomous marine animal in the ocean. These potential threats, along with the Pufferfish, that contains enough toxins to kill 30 adult humans—to which there is no known antidote, and the Barracuda, which can reach speeds up to 25 miles per hour when on the attack. (Alien attacks: still 0.)
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