Scientists can use telescopes to observe the far reaches of the universe, unlike the oceans, which occupy roughly 71% of Earth’s space.
You may have read or heard that 95% of the oceans on Earth have not yet been explored. Despite the slight exaggeration, we actually don’t know as much about the ocean as we would like to.
Why Don’t We Explore the Ocean?
First of all, there’s a lot of it to cover, and even though we have the time and probably the means to do so, it would be very costly. With sonar imaging at its highest resolution, only about 0.05% of the ocean has been mapped. Why don’t we simply complete the remaining tasks?
Because it’s not that easy. Even more challenging to comprehend is the fact that we are unable to descend there and visually explore. In some locations, the combined force of gravity and the ocean is equivalent to 50 superjumbo jets resting directly on top of you. Even without taking into account the fact that there is utterly no visibility at very deep depths, that is. The distance that the light can travel must also be taken into consideration, which is not very far at the ocean’s bottom. It is not enough to simply present a light source.
Even so, it might still be taking place. The far reaches of the ocean floor are already being mapped and explored by scientists and researchers. Modern technology allows for much greater accuracy and efficiency in the process. We might even find valuable materials like copper, nickel, and cobalt that can be retrieved and used again on the surface.
Why Have We Explored Space So Much?
Well, the fact that telescopes like the Hubble telescope can see distances of 13 billion lightyears is one of the main reasons space exploration has been such a significant part of history. Despite the fact that many scientists think there is still a lot of the universe to discover, the fact that the ocean is only seven miles deep and the universe is 13 billion lightyears across highlights how much more technology has been developed for space exploration than for ocean exploration.
This may have historical roots in some cases. Between the U.S. began the initial push to explore space. and In the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviets. Kennedy wanted to restore U.S. dominance after the Soviets launched Sputnik in the first place. confidence by showing that they could not only match the Soviets, but also outperform them, spurring significant financial investments in our space program.
A mystical allure that the ocean lacks for us, space also seems to possess. Perhaps this is due to the fact that there have been a lot more television programs and motion pictures about space travel and life on other planets than there have been about ocean life. Due to its vastness, space also provides the potential for the discovery of novel intelligent life forms. Humans have spent years wondering if there is life on other planets like our own, even though we have probably not found every form of life there.
Where is Ocean Exploration Headed?
We have more opportunities than ever to explore the ocean thanks to evolving technologies. In fact, for the average cost of a Mars mission of $3 billion, we could map the entire ocean floor. The key is allocating the necessary time and resources to close the gap caused by the fact that space has been explored more thoroughly than the ocean.
To truly make new discoveries, exploration missions like James Cameron’s dive to the Marianas Trench must rank higher on our priority list. 65% of our planet is still uncharted and needs to be mapped and explored. The key technologies that scientists have created to understand our oceans better are listed below.
Emerging Ocean Exploration Technology
Drones are a significant example of new technology that is advancing ocean exploration, much like they have done in space. The deepest regions of our planet might one day be explored thanks to drones that can withstand extreme depths.
Fluorescence-detecting cameras to find glowing fish, swarms of tiny robots to find water information and lost objects or threats to the ocean, and soft grippers to gently collect ocean specimens are other technologies for further exploration.
Certain light wavelengths can be filtered out by fluorescence-detecting cameras. This enables us to identify fish that only emit particular light in the ocean’s deep waters. To enhance the fluorescent color, these cameras use blue artificial light. We’ll be able to find far more marine life in our oceans than we ever knew was there thanks to technology like this.
Miniature autonomous underwater explorers, or m-AUEs, were created by Scripps oceanographer Jules Jaffe to measure water temperature at various depths. The m-AUEs congregate in swarms that bob in the same depths as plankton. Additionally, this will assist scientists in better comprehending how plankton moves through the sea and how it affects our oceans and air.
One of our ocean’s strangest and most enigmatic creatures is the jellyfish. Scientists created suction cups that can attach to the top of jellyfish in order to better understand how they move. The fact that jellyfish can regenerate the top layer of their bell-shaped top is one of the true geniuses of this technology. When they eventually let go of the suction cup, it will float to the water’s surface. So that they can pick it up and investigate where the jellyfish has been and what we can infer about the waters it traveled through, it also notifies scientists of its location.
What is Ocean Exploration?
Exploration of the ocean is the process of looking for marine life, ecosystems, and other discoveries to better understand the ocean. The data gathered enables us to comprehend how changes in Earth’s climate and weather are being impacted. Additionally, the data can be used for cartography, shipbuilding, and a variety of other tasks.
How Much of the Ocean is Unexplored?
As of 2021, only about 80% of the oceans on Earth have been explored or mapped.
How is Ocean Exploration Done?
Researchers and oceanographers explore the oceans and monitor their surface and water quality using water column samplers and buoys. They can create ocean maps and navigate effectively and safely deep within the oceans with the aid of additional equipment like remote-controlled vehicles and sonars. Another tool for exploring ocean waters is diving.
Who Explores the Ocean?
Ocean research is the responsibility of NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER), which is tasked with learning as much as it can about the oceans to improve the economy, health, and security of the United States. The United States only runs the OER program. federal government that is responsible for ocean exploration.