Did you know we have measured the details of the surface of the moon down to 7 meters of resolution? Or that on Mars, we have mapped things as close as 20 meters? And on Venus, we have mapped to 100 meters in detail?
All the while – on some level – we’ve been hopefully searching for life or any signs of former life in these places. Perhaps, if we keep looking outside our planet, we’ll find life-forms as strange as these:
Oh, wait! We have found lifeforms as strange as those, and even stranger, but they are not aliens from another world. Those are creatures, plentiful and successfully established for millions of years right here on our blue planet, in our deepest oceans.
By some estimates, we have only a passing knowledge of less than .05% of that frontier right here at home.
I was surprised to learn that 4 out of 5 species on our planet are in our oceans. This is really important! Why don’t we know more about this?
I was inspired to take on today’s topic when I recently learned the most extraordinary fact: we have only recently completed the mapping of the entire ocean floor, but that is only to a maximum resolution of around 5km, which means we can see most features larger than 5km across in those maps.
Wait…we can see things as small as 20 and 100 meters across on Mars and Venus respectively, but our detail of understanding for our own oceans is only as close as 5 kilometers?
What are we thinking? Especially now that we are coming to the enlightened realization that we are inextricably connected to the stability of the elements (water, atmosphere, geology) and fauna on our planet.
We spend only a tiny fraction of our resources exploring this frontier, compared to all the resources we pour into understanding outer space.
Perhaps with a little more knowledge we will appreciate the wonder that is within our reach, whenever we stand next to a tranquil sea or crashing surf. You will not believe the lifeforms that are still “aliens” to us because we know so very little about them.
First up today, just to wet your appetite for the fascinating possibility here, take a look at this wonderful short video by Quartz on YouTube that also inspired this article. This is the audio/video from a recent expedition to the deep ocean near Puerto Rico. (Thanks to EWC fan Kelly Christie for sharing this with us!) You can share things too! Just click here to send us a link and/or a message!)
“Wow!” was, of course, my initial reaction. But as always here at Ever Widening Circles, we like to get past that and on to the “why?” Why and how should we learn more about our most important frontier: the deep ocean?
Fortunately, we have incredible people like Robert Ballard and the scientists of the Nautilus Live project to help us explore the depths of the ocean! If you enjoyed this article, head over to our article with Robert Ballard’s TED Talk and some amazing images from the Nautilus Live project: Underwater Exploration: The New Frontier, it’s one of our most viewed!
Or, you can take a look at one of our other articles about these crazy creatures under the sea here!
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we might learn about ourselves and how to improve our futures, but it’s such a beautiful start. To learn more concerning how little we know about the ocean floor, you might like an article in Smithsonian magazine where I found most of my facts.
Thanks for stopping by Ever Widening Circles. We publish articles of carefully fact-checked, positive news every other day! Stop by tomorrow for your dose of something that is quite the opposite of the negative 24-hour news cycle.
Stay open, curious and hopeful!
~ Dr. Lynda
Want to check out a little more positive news, fun or insights?
Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Or, simply scroll down this page to find a few more incredible articles like this one! Even better, subscribe to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!