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Analysing the ocean’s depths

27th September 2017 Print
Fish collage

Join subsea technology specialists Tracerco as they analyse what can be found in our oceans — a space that covers 71 per cent of Earth and, according to NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center estimated, is made up of 321,003,271 cubic miles of water:

Artefacts, remnants & more

You will not be able to find as many remnants and artefacts in all of the world’s museums combined than you will in the Earth’s oceans. There is almost 20 million tons of gold within the Earth’s oceans too — if all which was suspended was mined, there would be enough to give each person on the planet around 9 pounds of gold.

The floors of Earth’s oceans have also collected up to $60 billion in sunken treasure, not to mention scientists predicting there to be as much as 50 quadrillion tons of dissolved solids contained there too. Calcium salts, magnesium salts, potassium salts and sodium salts make up the bulk of this huge figure.

Worryingly, an estimated 14 billion pounds of garbage is dumped into the oceans of the world on an annual basis, with much of this being harmful plastic.

Signs of life

Some scientists have claimed that there are many more forms of marine life still to be discovered than the already hundreds of thousands of known species that we know to exist.

Around the world’s oceans, there are 4,000 species of coral reef fish to be found too, which is close to a quarter of all of the world’s marine fish species. Just be aware that a millilitre of ocean water contains close to 1 million bacteria and 10 million viruses.

Means of trade and communication

Around 50 per cent of all communications will occur between nations through the use of underwater cables, such as via subsea technologies, while over 90 per cent of all trade between countries are also performed by ships.

Geographical wonders

The Mariana Trench holds the feat of being the deepest known area found in our world’s oceans. Located in the western Pacific Ocean and to the east of the Mariana Islands, the deepest point found here measures in at an estimated 11,000 metres — or 36,000 feet. The average depth of the Earth’s oceans is also 3,720 metres — or 12,200 feet.

You can pinpoint the longest mountain range on Earth underwater too. Named the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, this mountain chain stretches for more than 56,000km across and covers parts of the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Meanwhile, Earth’s highest mountain in the ocean is the Mauna Kea. Found off the coast of Hawaii, the mountain rises for 10,203 metres (33,474 feet) from the ocean floor, with 4,170 metres (13,680 feet) viewable above sea level.

The ocean contains the largest living structure on Earth as well. This is the Great Barrier Reef — it measures around 2,600km and is so huge that it can be spotted from the Moon.

Explore the ocean floor close to the Gulf of Mexico and you will also discover a series of brine pools and underwater volcanoes which see methane and mud exploding from their tips as opposed to lava. There’s also underwater hot springs found across the Earth’s oceans, where water with temperatures of 650°F shoot out — that’s hot enough to melt lead.

All of this and we have yet to explore around 95 per cent of the Earth’s oceans, if figures by National Geographic are to be believed. This means that we have more detailed maps of Mars than we do of our planet’s ocean floor.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Fish collage