Sunken treasures are found in it. Hundreds of different types of animals live in it, it takes up the majority of the earth, yet we cannot drink it. I’m talking about the ocean. We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean. Why? You may ask. Well the ocean is deep, very deep; so deep in fact that the water pressure would crush us like a sardine can, in addition to dangerous gas build up would kill us, if we venture too deep without special equipment.
A diver without a special suit, can dive to about 100 feet before starting to feel the dangerous effects of gasses at high pressure start to set in. With a specialized suit that allows for breathing in the correct amount of gasses and withstanding pressure, a deep dive can be up to 2,300 feet.
The world under the ocean is much like the world above it, in that it is made up of mountains and valleys and forests of sea plants. The islands that you see across the oceans are sometimes the top of mountains that are underneath the ocean that extend down to valleys and great plains (called abyssal plain). The abyssal plain is the ocean floor but sometimes like a floor, there are cracks. These cracks extend even deeper into the earth and ocean floor and are called trenches.
The average depth to the ocean floor (also known as the average depth of the ocean) is about 12, 000 ft or 2.5 or 3 miles, while the trenches can be as deep as 36,000 ft or 7 miles (which is as tall as the highest mountain on earth). While this is just the average depth of the ocean, each ocean has its own average depth:
Pacific Ocean = 15, 215 ft (3 miles)
Atlantic Ocean= 10,950 ft (2 miles)
Indian Ocean = 13,002 ft (2.5 miles)
Southern Ocean = 13,000 – 16,000 ft (2.5- 3 miles)
Arctic Ocean = 4,000 ft.
With oceans this deep and very vast, is there any wonder that we know only so much about them. In future blogs, we will seek to educate you on the basics of what we do know about our earth’s oceans and how they impact us.