Ocean Exploration: “Uncovering the mysteries of the deep sea”

Logamithra Kumar, IIK Young Contributor
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

What is ocean exploration and why does it matter?

Ocean exploration is a part of oceanography and discovers the deep sea and the science that revolves around it. You may wonder, “Why does it matter?” Being said that ocean is the largest living space on Earth covering 70% of the Earth’s surface only 5% of the ocean has been explored using modern technology. We often claim to have known all about our planet, though we still haven’t explored about 95% of the ocean. We know more about the moon than we know about the ocean. Which means, there may be millions of species that are still unknown to us. The knowledge of ocean is more than just a matter of curiosity, our very survival hinges upon it. The deep ocean, though it largely contributes to our survival, is still poorly understood. Now, that we have understood the importance of ocean exploration, it’s time to stumble upon some fun questions about the ocean which will help us understand more about the ocean.

Are corals plants or Animals?
Have you ever wondered, “are corals plants or animals?”. Corals are often misunderstood to be plants but they are actually animals. Corals are invertebrates (animals that lack a backbone). What we often call a coral is actually made up of hundreds of individual animals called polyps. Each polyp has a stomach that opens at one end which is surrounded by tentacles. These tentacles capture food by stinging it, which is similar to a jellyfish. There are some corals that capture food using algae and the algae uses the coral to get food. This is called a “symbiotic” relationship. In conclusion, corals are animals.

Why is the ocean blue in colour?
I have always asked myself this particular question, “Why is the ocean blue in colour?”. This is because the ocean absorbs the red colour of the colour spectrum leaving us to see the blue colour.

Where does sea- shells come from?
One of the most striking features of the ocean are seashells. Their whorls, curves, and shiny iridescent insides are the remains of animals. Where do shells come from? The animals make them. Molluscs have an outermost layer of tissue on their bodies. Called the mantle, this layer connects the animal to its shell. The mantle also creates that shell.

Now that we have got answers for a of our questions about the mighty ocean.

Let us delve into the world of ocean exploration.

What are some professions that allow humans to explore the ocean?
There are a number of professions that allow humans to explore the endless ocean. A few of these include; marine biologist, maritime archaeology, aquaculture scientist, ocean engineering, marine researcher and oceanographer. In conclusion, the exploration of the endless ocean offers a vast array of exciting and essential career opportunities.

What are some technologies used for ocean exploration?

A magnetometer is a passive instrument that measures changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.

Photogrammetry is a method of approximating a three-dimensional structure using two dimensional images. It has become an efficient way to rapidly record underwater archaeological sites and can also be used to characterize seafloor features.

Sound Navigation and Ranging—SONAR—is used to find and identify objects in water. It is also used to determine water depth (bathymetry). Sonar is applied to water-based activities because sound waves attenuate (taper off) less in water as they travel than do radar and light waves.

In conclusion, ocean exploration stands at the forefront of scientific discovery, unveiling the mysteries of Earth's most expansive and least understood realm. From the technological marvels that enable us to plunge into the abyssal depths to the breathtaking biodiversity hidden beneath the waves, the journey into the ocean's heart is an ongoing saga of exploration and enlightenment. As we navigate the challenges posed by environmental threats and human impact on marine ecosystems, the imperative for sustainable practices and international collaboration becomes ever clearer.

By fostering a collective sense of responsibility and awe for the wonders beneath the surface, we can ensure that ocean exploration remains a beacon of knowledge, inspiring generations to come in the ongoing quest to unravel the secrets of the blue planet.

Logamithra Kumar
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