As divers we spend a lot of time in and around the sea. Yet, there are so many aspects about our oceans that are overlooked.
This post will highlight a number of things about our oceans that hardly anyone knows. The article referenced below presents 16 facts about our oceans that ScubaDiverLife.com identifies as unknown. In addition to these the video referenced below covers another 25 facts that its producers classified as unknown. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was relatively little overlap in their lists of ocean unknowns.
The following is the first 8 Scubaduverlife.com’s list.
1. Challenger Deep, the deepest known part of the ocean at 35,814 feet, is named after the HMS Challenger. This British Naval survey ship undertook the first-ever global marine-research expedition.
2. The Pacific Ocean has the most coral because reef-building corals can’t tolerate waters under 64.4 F (18 C). The Pacific also boasts a larger surface area than all dry land put together. It contains just over 50 percent of all oceanic water. It’s shrinking at just over an inch a year, though, due to the effects of plate tectonics. So maybe in a few billion years, I’ll need to change this article to say that the Atlantic is the biggest ocean.
3. The Pacific Ocean gets its name from Ferdinand Magellan. He called it Mar Pacifico in Portuguese, meaning “peaceful sea.” Ancient Greeks named the Atlantic Ocean for Atlas, the mythological Titan who held the world on his shoulders.
4. Anchialine pools are landlocked bodies of water with subterranean connections to the oceans. These pools are very common throughout the world, but are especially common on the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where they’re known as cenotes.
5. The longest mountain range on our planet is 90 percent underwater. It contains the highest number of active volcanoes. Called the mid-ocean ridge, this chain of mountains runs for over 40,000 miles along the planet’s tectonic plates. If you think of the planet as a baseball, this ridge would be the stitching.
6. The term “global sea level” actually represents an average, and doesn’t mean that the oceans are all at one level. Sea level can vary around the world even if we take out such factors as tides, rain and melt water. For example, the West Coast of the United States has a higher sea level than the East Coast.
7. The novel Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys actually has nothing to do with the Sargasso Sea. Named after Sargassum seaweed, this large area of water in the North Atlantic is also, sadly, home to the North Atlantic garbage patch. This is made up of non-biodegradable plastic, which is trapped here due to ocean currents.
8. Seawater contains gold. It holds a lot less than was previously thought, but at around 16,500 tons, using the conservative estimate, it’s still a lot of gold. But as that equates to around 10g/km³ don’t expect anyone to get rich quick off it just yet