When we think scientific discoveries, our minds often times take us to either medicine or space exploration, at least that is the case for me. It is very rare when you hear about a discovery in charting our own earth. It seems as though we’ve figured it all out. Nothing more to discover here, right? All the continents have been studied and mapped; we know what exactly our planet looks like. Even kids in elementary school could probably sketch out a rough image of our world, and it would be a somewhat accurate drawing (for the most part). Aren’t we on to something bigger, newer? We know all there is we need to know about the topography of our planet. Wrong. Only about 5% of our underwater world has been examined and mapped out. This is about 71% of our earth’s surface. So if you do the math, you’d find that we only know about 32.55% of our earth. Apart from the little we’ve mapped out, below sea level is an uncharted mystery.

Space exploration began in 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite. This started the Space Race between the two Cold War opponents: the United States and Soviet Russia. It finally ended in 1975 upon the landing of Neil Armstrong on the moon. This accomplishment left the world in wonder of this vast universe we have yet to discover. Now in 2017, we have discovered new planets. NASA is using technology like the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory to detect ripples of gravity in planets that are light years away. One in particular is being studied from earth, which is 4.2 light years away; it is called Proxima Centauri, and revolves around the star closest to the sun. Tons of groundbreaking discoveries of our universe are being made every year, but breaking the ground (or surface of the ocean) appears to have very little precedence in any major scientific studies today.

Ocean diving technology began to develop in the late 1600s. In 1776, Turtle, the first submarine, was invented. Deep sea life became a focus in the 1800s, and finally, in the 1900s, the first maps of the ocean floor were developed. Ocean research was assisted by the National Oceanographic Atmospheric Administration’s establishment. Up until August of 2011, the deepest point on the ocean floor had not been charted. In an expedition of the survey ship, Challenger, the deepest point of 10,916 meters below sea level was reached by one man who controlled the ship. This is one small fraction of the 5% of ocean floor that has been mapped. As time goes on, discoveries of new species of sea life progress. This is only the tip of the iceberg. The proximity of this new world makes studying the new frontier, our ocean, all the more possible. What other possibilities lie under the surface of the water? We have yet to know.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 The Final Frontier by Sophia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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1 Comment
  1. lukas 1 year ago

    Dear Sophia,

    Let me start off saying I agree with everything you talked about and how we need to start paying more attention to the ocean. I am passionate about your essay/post because you talk about how we need to start exploring more of the ocean since not much of it is explored because who knows megaladon might be down there. Also, I agree with you about the news and scientists of that there main focus is space.

    One thing that you said that stands out to me is,” Ocean diving technology began to develop in the late 1600s. ” I think this is interesting to me because I didn’t know diving technology could be this old. Thanks for taking the time to read this and lets hope more will get discovered.

    lukas

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