Did you know that we’ve only explored less than 5% of the ocean? I mean humanity in general of course, not Cruise 118. We’ve explored quite a bit less than that ourselves. But that’s an incredible fact – more than 95% of the ocean has not been witnessed by humans. It’s believed that we’ve got a better map of Mars than we do of the ocean floor.
On discovering this, I set out to see what other ocean facts I didn’t know. There were some that were pretty boring, if I’m honest, but plenty of stuff that was mind-blowing, so here’s a selection of some of the best ocean facts that I’ve found:
1) Underwater lakes and rivers exist
This is utterly insane. At the floor of the ocean, in some places, there are lakes and rivers. Lakes under the sea are brine pools, with a much higher salt content than the water above it. The lakes have shores, while the rivers have actual currents. Some of the lakes also have their own waves – under the ocean.
2) Spiders can scuba dive
This is a bit freaky, especially if you’re one of those softies who don’t like spiders. This is an example of a diving bell spider. These guys can capture air and take it underwater, creating a web that traps an air bubble big enough for them to reside in for up to a day while they hunt marine insects. Not only that but the web itself filters out oxygen from the surrounding water to maintain the spider.
3) It’s pretty deep
OK obviously you know that the ocean is deep, but do you know how low it goes? The Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is a valley that reaches 10,916 metres. In case you were wondering, that’s 2,000 metres deeper than Mount Everest is tall, and it’s the same as almost 25 Empire State Buildings or, if you want something closer to home, 35 Shards.
4) Some of the scales involved are mind blowing
Staying on the subject of big, did you know that the aorta of a blue whale is so big that a child could crawl through it?
Or how about something small – if you swallow a mouthful of seawater, there’s a chance you’re swallowing millions of different bacteria and tens of thousands of zooplankton. Yum.
5) The marine wildlife are astounding
This is just a cover all, but here are some examples: Sea horse young are born of, and raised by, the father and not the mother. There exists squid that change their colours to hide their aggressive side in front of females, whilst showing it off out of view to ward off other males. Some octopi can completely camouflage themselves against coral and rocks etc, and don’t move any faster than the motion of the ocean so as not to be detected.
Let us know if you find any other awesome ocean facts.
By Ian Lewis