Unexplored Oceans - What Might We Find?
By Mike Clift | Monday, February 17, 2020 | Features
Why Haven’t We Explored the Ocean Yet?
The Earth’s oceans contain roughly 321 million cubic miles of water, which is trillions upon trillions of gallons of liquid, stretching across more than 70% of our planet’s surface area and amounting to roughly 99% of the Earth’s total living-space.
And yet, there’s still so much we don’t know. Why is this?
Why should we even care about what happens in the ocean at all? These vast waters can seem cold and empty, inhospitable environments threatening hidden dangers. But, they’re actually key to understanding our planet.
So what is stopping us?
Oceanographers argue that the biggest roadblock for sea exploration is space.
Despite the universe being incomprehensibly huge, we know much more about what happens out there than down here - spending much more time, money and effort to do so.
We’ve mapped 100% of the Lunar and Martian surface (and around 98% of our second-closest planet, Venus), but only 5% of our own sea floor. There are valid reasons for this: NASA use radio waves to map other planets, but radio waves can’t be used for the sea because the water gets in the way. Mapping the ocean floor requires sonar which, though the tech does exist, is a much slower process.
There is more interest in space exploration
Currently, there’s clearly a much greater emphasis on moving to Mars than on colonising the Atlantic - but, if we relocated to the water en masse, it would at least buy us more time to re-evaluate our lives on Earth, and give us a greater, first-hand understanding of sea and plastic pollution.
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In the long-term, such a move could even give us more time to tweak our space travel strategies.
There are mysteries to solve, species to discover and wide-reaching lessons to learn. But, right now we’re impeded by inexplicable disinterest and an unfortunate lack of funding.
And that’s why we haven’t fully explored the oceans yet.
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