We might explore space, develop as a species, and learn about places in the universe billions of light-years away; however, we still don’t know what’s hidden on our very own planet. Many unresolved mysteries hide from us in the ocean depths, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be resolved anytime soon. Only two people have been to the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean, whereas twelve have visited the Moon. Let’s have a look at the most intriguing secrets ocean depths hide from us.
Monsters in the Depths
Kraken is a mythical creature quite commonly known to both modern and ancient cultures. However, the vision of a gigantic octopus or a squid might be closer to the truth than most people realize. In 1870 villagers in New Zealand found a 2.75-meter (9-feet) long mantle at the shore. They also claimed that it belonged to the animal that attacked the canoe earlier. Later on, scientists concluded that this means the animal could have been between 5.8 and 27 meters (19 to 90 feet) long. According to modern research, species whose standard length oscillates around 20 meters (65.6 feet) might exist.
Unmapped Ocean Floor
Two-thirds of Earth’s surface is invisible to the human eye because the ocean covers it. We can see barely five percent of the surface underwater- main elements, details longer than three miles. This means that we are surrounded by over 485 million square kilometers of the unmapped ocean floor. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that we don’t know much about it. Many many species await us in those depths, and the Kraken might not be the most fascinating one. In 2020 Australian scientists discovered a Siphonophore (close family of jellyfish) that could be over 120 meters long, making it the longest animal ever found.
The Bermuda Triangle
The infamous Bermuda Triangle needs no introduction. A triangular area nearby the North American shore, roughly five hundred square meters, a synonym of unsolved ocean mysteries and disappearances. Two American fleet expeditions vanished in that area, the first in 1918 and the latter in 1945. In both cases, the wrecks were never found. However, scientists dismiss science-fiction ideas. Instead, they explain that in this region, compasses might point not to the “magnetic” north like it is supposed to but to the “true” north causing navigational failures. It is also a very active region, where many storms, tornadoes, and violently rapid weather changes happen daily. This makes it an incredibly challenging area to navigate, not a supernatural place.
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The Mariana Trench is the deepest oceanic trench on Earth. It is almost 11 kilometers (36,000 feet) underwater; therefore, if we put Mount Everest on the deepest point, it would still be over 2 kilometers underwater (1.2 miles). Only four expeditions reached the bottom of the trench; the current record is held by Victor Vescovo, who dived into the Challenger’s Deep (deepest area of the trench) and reached 10.928 kilometers below the surface. He is also the only person who has dived into the Deep more than once. Almost all expeditions detected life forms in the depths, despite the extremely high pressure and lack of light. However, the current data was insufficient to classify any new species.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of undiscovered shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean, and we don’t know the location of most of them. For example, in 2019, a group of scientists was testing a remotely operating deep-sea vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico when they suddenly encountered a shipwreck about 255 kilometers (160 miles) from the shore. The wreck lay 445 meters (1460 feet) underwater, and the world long forgot it. After some research, archaeologists concluded that the ship was probably built around the mid-1800s, and it’s been lying at the bottom of the ocean for around 200 years.
Solving the Ocean’s Mysteries
Every day, biologists, archaeologists, geologists, and many other scientists unravel the ocean depth’s mysteries. We have yet to discover many deep-sea creatures, forgotten shipwrecks, and perhaps some other surprises. However, we have to make sure that the ocean is protected from harmful human activity for that to be possible. The Mariana Trench is now filling with plastic, oils spill damage natural environment, and the maritime economy of many countries is deeply inconsiderate of the ocean. If we don’t protect marine life, some species may go extinct before we have a chance to discover them.