The earth is made up of 70% water, and as per the National Ocean Service, we only discovered less than 5% of the ocean. What lies underneath remains a mystery as more people have been to the moon than those who have gone to the depths.
Jacques Cousteau was a French naval explorer and scientist who, in 1956, first took a photo of the hadal zone or the most buried region in the ocean reaching from 6,000 meters to 11,000 meters below the surface. He was able to use his camera to capture the first glimpse of the hidden wonders of the deep in Romanche Trench in the Atlantic Ocean, submerging his camera 24,500 feet down.
Here Are 5 Facts About What’s In The Deep:
- It was in 2008 when humankind first recorded images of live organisms from the deep using the Hakuho-Maru in the Japan Trench (Pacific Ocean). They were able to capture images of hadal snailfish or what’s scientifically known as Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis. They believe that this is the most common in the hadal zone.
- The deepest part of the ocean where we can confirm life is about 26,722 feet. Again, explorers were able to identify snailfish at this depth when they thought life was already impossible.
- We are still unsure how much deep fish would be able to live in the deep. Currently, scientists believe that fish cannot survive below 27,560 feet because that part of the ocean wouldn’t allow proper production of proteins which is essential for fish.
Other creatures live below 27,560 feet like the shrimp-like hadal amphipods, and they feed on the waste and lifeless sea creatures from above which surprisingly reach the deep.
- Studying the hadal zone gives a better understanding of how creatures withstand the absence of essential matters which the living need to survive. The hadal zone has limited to no oxygen, the temperature is low, and the pressure is very high. Knowing these things open our mind to the possibility of life in space where we believe is impossible.
- Like what we see in movies, odd and giant creatures live in the deep. The Alicelle gigantea is among the supergiant creatures found in the hadal zone in the Pacific Ocean. The largest recorded was a female of about 13.4 inches It is enormous compared to its counterpart here on the surface where they are barely noticeable hiding in seaweeds at the beach with about half an inch long.
- Hadal got its name from Hades, the Greek god of the underworld. In mythology, Hades rigorously guards his kingdom that no one is allowed to depart from it. In real life, creatures of the deep cannot go outside the hadal zone because it has their requirement to survive.
- The hadal zone consists of 33 trenches and 13 troughs totaling 46 hadal habitats. The average depth is 8.216km with a total area of less than 0.2% of the whole seafloor.
- The temperature of the hadal zone varies between 1°C and 4°C which makes it impossible for most of us here on the surface. The pressure ranges from 600 to 1,100 atmospheres which what makes it challenging to explore it.
Pacific Ocean Basin is the largest ocean basin on the earth. It is enough to hold all the land on the surface.
The understanding of what’s underneath is as important as all the studies we do here on land. Although we do not live in the deep, we have the responsibility to know all the facts surrounding the ocean. It is a part of the world we inhabit, so we may feel it or not, there is a link between us and what lies underneath.