The oceans cover almost 70% of the earth’s surface! The oceans and seas are crucial for our existence. However, most of their territories are uncharted and full of mysteries!
While celebrating World Ocean Day on 8th June, let’s dive deep into the blue seas and explore some lesser-known facts about oceans!
1. 90% of the world’s longest mountain chain is under the ocean!
The mid-ocean ridge is the world’s longest mountain chain spanning almost 37,000 miles or 60,000 kilometres. As you can guess from the name, most of this range is beneath the water and situated in the centre of ocean basins.
The oceanic ridge runs across the continents, and it looks like the seam of a basketball in satellite images. While this ridge system constitutes a major feature of the earth, we could only map less than half of it. Only less than 1% of the ridge we could study in detail by sending submersibles and other remotely-controlled devices.
2. More than 80% of oceans are unexplored, unmapped and unknown!
We have only explored about 5% of the oceans on the earth’s surface. Therefore, we only know a few lesser-known facts about oceans, and the rest is still a mystery and uncharted territory to us. Scientists have explored a bigger percentage of the Moon’s or Mars’s surface than our ocean floor!
The researchers estimate that the oceans are home to more than 700000 marine species, but only about 226,000 are identified and known to humans to date!
3. Oceans and seas are the planet’s largest museum!
The adventure films about discovering an underwater city, shipwrecks, or even graveyards are not always fiction! The bottoms of oceans record more history than our museums can.
The remains of pirates, beautiful structures of ancient civilisation, trunks full of treasures and the parts of sunken submarines are found in abundance beneath the deep seas! For instance, the kingdom of Cleopatra, the Egyptian artefacts, statues of goddess Isis and also a sphinx, a train graveyard, a 2050 years old Roman shipwreck all are found underwater. They are pretty amazing, right?
4. Marine plants produce almost 70% of the atmosphere’s oxygen!
While talking about the major oxygen producers of the world, we often name rainforests. But, one of the lesser-known facts about oceans is that most of the oxygen available in our atmosphere comes from phytoplankton and other marine plants that live underwater!
Especially, Prochlorococcus, a type of phytoplankton, uses the sunlight, turns it into tons of oxygen, and releases it into the atmosphere.
5. There are rivers, lakes, hidden waterfalls and even volcanoes beneath the oceans!
Did you know you can find mighty mountains, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and active and dormant volcanos deep under the oceans? The Denmark Strait cataract is the known highest underwater waterfall on the earth in the Atlantic Ocean.
Axial Seamount, Banua Wuhu, Bounty Seamount and Brothers Volcano are some of the famous submarine volcanos known to us!
How many of these lesser-known facts about oceans did you know? Let us know in the comments below!