Have you ever dreamt of climbing Mount Everest? That 8849-meter-high peak.
That must be a long way up.
But, did you know you can fit Mount Everest into the deepest point in the ocean and still have to dive over two kilometers to touch its peak?
That must be insane. Let’s understand more about what’s in the ocean.
There are five recognized oceans in the world: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Ocean.
Let’s talk about the Pacific Ocean because that’s where the crazy things happen.
The Pacific Ocean is 165.2 million square kilometers. Russia, the biggest country in the world, is 17.1 million square kilometers.
Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who traveled to the Philippines, gave the ocean its name after noting how calm it seemed to him.
Almost 30% of the Earth’s surface, or roughly 46% of the planet’s water surface, is taken up by the Pacific Ocean, making it by far the largest body of water.
The next largest ocean, the Atlantic, is smaller than the Pacific Ocean by volume and by area, respectively. The Pacific Ocean actually has a larger surface area than all of Earth’s land combined!
The Pacific Ocean has an average depth of 4,280 meters and is home to Challenger Deep, the world’s deepest place, which is located in the Mariana Trench, east of the Philippines, at a depth of 11,034 meters.
The term “Oceanic Trench” refers to a long, narrow topographic depression of the ocean floor that is typically found where two plate tectonics converge.
The Mariana Trench is 43 miles (69 kilometers) wide and extends for more than 2,550 kilometers.
The majority of the world’s active volcanoes are submerged, and they are all situated in the “Ring of Fire,” a region in the Pacific Ocean.
The Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, also known as the Circum-Pacific Belt, is a region where there are many active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. It stretches for about 40,000 kilometers.
The Ring of Fire has more than 450 volcanoes, or 75% of all volcanoes on Earth. The majority of earthquakes that occur on Earth, including the most violent and dramatic seismic events ever recorded, happen along its path.
The Pacific Ocean, or all oceans, consist of 5 zones, measured by the light passing through the water, these zones are:
The Sunlight Zone
This top layer, which reaches a depth of 200 meters, is also known as the Epipelagic Zone. The majority of the visible light is present in this region.
With light comes the heat of the sun. The large variations in temperature that take place in this region with respect to latitude and each season are caused by this heating.
The Twilight Zone
Which spans 200 to 1,000 meters, is located beneath the sunlight zone. Considering how weak the sunlight is at this depth, the twilight zone is also known as the Mesopelagic Zone or the midwater zone.
It is in this zone that temperature changes occur at the greatest rates due to the lack of light.
Fish have larger, more frequently upward-facing eyes that are most likely used to detect animal silhouettes against the low light.
The Midnight Zone
The Bathypelagic Zone is located at depths of 1,000 to 4,000 meters. This region is also known as the midnight zone because it is always dark there. Only the bioluminescence of the animals themselves produces light at this depth.
Unlike the mesopelagic zone, the bathypelagic zone’s temperature is constant. A bone-chilling 4°C is the constant temperature.
The Abyssal Zone
Between 4,000 and 6,000 meters is the Abyssopelagic Zone. It is the ocean’s bottom, which is completely black.
Due to their belief that the ocean had no bottom, the word “abyss” is derived from a Greek word that means “no bottom.” This region makes up 75 percent of the deep ocean floor.
Only a few creatures can be found at these terrifying depths, where the water is always close to freezing.
The Hadalpelagic Zone
The deepest part of the ocean stretches from 6,000 meters to 10,994 meters below sea level in the Mariana Trench off the coast of Philippines.
Just above freezing is the constant temperature. In the Mariana Trench, there is more than 8 tons of water per square inch.
So What’s There?
Life can be found even at the very bottom.
Foraminifera, a type of plankton, are minuscule single-celled organisms that were found in the Challenger Deep trench southwest of Guam in 2005.
The Abyssobrotula galatheae, which was discovered in the Puerto Rico Trench at 8,372 meters, was the deepest fish ever discovered.
Even though studies suggest that more than 90% of the ocean’s creatures have not yet been discovered and classified, the deep sea is the planet’s largest habitat despite the crushing pressure and total darkness. Despite having an alien appearance, the animals that have adapted to this environment are able to live at the ocean’s bottom thanks to each of their adaptations.
NASA scientists have looked into how deep-sea creatures, like translucent gelatinous snailfish, can withstand the pressure of the water pressing in on all sides. It is thought that they have created an enzyme that causes the proteins in their cells to enlarge, preventing the weight from pressing down on them.
Even at the deepest point of the ocean, Challenger Deep, life can be found.
In Challenger Deep, amphipods, a type of crustacean, were found that were two inches long, more than twice as long as those found in shallow waters.
At these unbelievable depths, nothing grows and there is little to eat, but these creatures can consume wood that sinks from the surface. Shipwrecks provide their diet.
So the zeitgeist, so far, all we know is that we know nothing about what happens in the bottom of the ocean.
Beyond a few tiny creatures feeding on shipwrecks or fallen whales, there’s close to absolutely nothing discovered.