Desire to find an answer to ‘how deep is the ocean’ and several other questions relating to oceanography has led to extensive study of the world’s oceans.
This article will expose you to interesting facts you may not know about the oceans and we’ll start from the basic knowledge of what it is.
What is an ocean?
The ocean is a large body of salt water which covers approximately 71 percent of the Earth’s crust.
Over time, oceanographers (people who study the ocean) have divided the ocean body into four specific regions:
- The Pacific ocean
- The Atlantic ocean
- The Indian ocean
- The Arctic ocean.
The depth of the ocean can vary comparatively due to topography and region, as a result of this, to ascertain the real depth of the ocean has been a difficult task that is yet to produce a final and a conclusive figure.
The most recent research done in an attempt to measure the real depth of the ocean was done in 2010 by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) where their findings gave an estimated number.
Just how deep is the ocean?
From the findings of NOAA and WHOI, it was estimated that the ocean has an average depth of about 12,080 feet (3,682 metres).
This shows that the ocean has a staggering depth that could pose some serious difficulty in its study and research expeditions.
Interesting facts about the depth of the ocean
Double atmospheric pressure at 0 – 10 metres: Walking into the ocean, you could feel a hydrostatic pressure that is more than double of the atmospheric pressure. This depth of the ocean serves as habitation for most aquatic organisms as they easily receive sunlight from this depth.
Human diver record at 214 metres: In September 2014, Professional Association of Diving Instructors confirmed Egyptian diver Ahmed Gabr as the new record holder for World’s Scuba Dive after attempting a 332.35 meters (1090 feet) dive.
“I wanted to satisfy my curiosity of how deep the human body can go, I was researching in books and on the internet but still never had the absolute answer so I figured out the best way to find the answer is to try it myself,” Gabr said after achieving such a historic record.
World’s tallest building at 828 metres: The depth of the ocean is incredibly unimaginable. At 828 metres down the depth of the ocean, the tallest building in the world can be totally submerged.
The world’s tallest human-made structure is the 828-metre-tall (2,717 ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building gained the official title of “tallest building in the world” and the tallest self-supported structure at its opening on January 9, 2010. according to Wikipedia.
No sunlight at 1000 metres: Sunlight can travel as far as 1,000 metres into the ocean, Although ray of light is very minimal beyond 200 metres down the ocean as only a small amount of light can penetrate the ocean beyond this depth.
There are three parts of the ocean depth: The euphotic, or “sunlight,” zone which is home for most fisheries for commercial purposes and serves as habitat for many marine mammals and sea animals, the disphotic zone which measures about 200 metres and the aphotic zone which exists in depths below 1,000 metres. This depth is totally covered with darkness and sunlight cannot penetrate it.
Deepest military submarine at 1220 Metres: Military submarines are vehicles built under the water especially the Navy. These warships are used for many different activities and the most important of them all is the war against sea piracy.
These submarines are built so many metres deep down the ocean and can go as deep as 1,220 metres and beyond.
The Trieste submarine designed by the Swiss and built by Italians is the deepest military submarine which measures about 10,911 metres (35,797 feet). All these are built in the deepest parts of the sea.
The Titanic wreck at 3,800 metres: On April 15th 1912, the world’s deadliest maritime disaster occured in the North Atlantic Ocean as the RMS Titanic sank.
The Titanic which was the largest ocean liner at the time had an estimated 2,224 people on board when the ship unfortunately struck an iceberg. It was reported that about 1,500 persons died in the disaster.
The wreck of the Titanic lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet (3,800 metres; 2,100 fathoms), about 370 nautical miles (690 kilometres) south-southeast off the coast of Newfoundland. It lies in two main pieces about 2,000 feet (600 m) apart.
The Challenger Deep at 10,935 metres: The Challenger Deep is believed to be the last point depth of the sea bed with an estimated depth of 10,935 metres that’s an astonishing 6.8 miles.
Just as Earth’s land surface has enormous peaks and valleys, the oceanic world has similarly varied topography.
Perhaps the most intriguing of these features is the Mariana Trench — a chasm in the western Pacific ocean that spans more than 1,580 miles (2,540 kilometres) and is home to the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point on Earth’s surface that plunges more than 36,000 feet (about 11,000 metres) underwater.
Mount Everest which measures about 8,848.86 metres when put up-side-down into the ocean will still need over a mile to get to the Challenger Deep