Sunday, September 27, 2009

Top to Bottom

Compared to what we know about the terrestrial Earth -- or even about other planets -- our knowledge of the ocean depths is embarrassingly limited. It's an issue, ultimately, of accessibility. The deep oceans, however beautiful and inviting, are a notoriously dangerous place for a land-lubbing species such as ourselves, with the risks increasing the farther we descend. What we can't easily get to, we also can't study.

The most obvious problem is oxygen. Fish and other water-dwelling organisms are equipped to access the oxygen dissolved in water. We are obviously not fish, and we can't breathe -- naturally, that is -- underwater. Divers holding their breath (free divers), many of whom have developed extraordinary control over their heart rate and other body functions, can stay underwater for minutes at a time and dive more than 100 meters deep. (Kathy Svitil)

One big problem is pressure.. Check out this DEEP SEA SIMULATOR
You need the free FLASH plug-in

Beneath the world's oceans lie rugged mountains, active volcanoes, vast plateaus and almost bottomless trenches. The deepest ocean trenches could easily swallow up the tallest mountains on land . Think you know the tallest mountain on Earth?
The real answer might surprise you

The REAL deep dive record though was set by Piccard and Walsh on January 23, 1960, when the Trieste reached the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean's Marianas Trench -- 35,810 feet -- that will likely never be bested. No one has even tried. In fact, in the nearly 40 years since, no person has plunged to within 10,000 feet of the record.

Students: for an excellent review resource features in the Benthic zone/ocean floor/ocean bottom
DIVE IN HERE To check your understanding try this QUICK QUIZ

Perhaps the best way to grasp the magnitude of our unseen Earth is to "imagine" what our planet would look like without the oceans.

For an even more "in depth look" Check out National Geographic Drain the Ocean

The comments box is open...
(Remember First name then class period/color ID)

What do you think about this blog?

How does " Top to Bottom" help your understandings of the world around you?

What more would you like to learn?


  1. That video was very interesting!Was this video about what happend if the water drained from the ocean? If not what is it?

    Corynn Miner

  2. For a few moments while I was watching this clip, I thought to myself, "WOW! I'd LOVE to go climb THOSE!! Then I remembered that they are about 20,000 feet below sea level.


    Ryan Mcgahan
    Yellow class

  3. Corynn,

    This video is about what the Earth would look like IF the oceans were drained. You can follow the link and see even more. I think it is really quite spectacular.

  4. ewwww the planet earth looks so bare without the ocean...yuck we wouldn't even survive, without the ocean though... and a lot of sand storms would happen also right? We would be living on a lifeless planet...:(

    Michelle M. P.3 Yellow

  5. O ok yes that video is pretty cool

    Corynn Miner

  6. The earth looks really empty without the ocean. Wouldn't there be more earthquakes and sand storms if their was no earth and few to no trees? Also most animals in the world live in the ocean so if the ocean was drained, they would all die. I'm surprised about how that in 40 years we cannot even get 10,000 feet near the deepest recorded place in the ocean. I wonder if we will find a deeper part of the ocean soon.

    Jordan L. P.2 orange

  7. I thought the video was interesting. I like how the plane flew in the air. I also like the music. The earth is very interesting too.

    Jase P. P.2 orange

  8. the video about the graphs really helped, thank u Mr.v I will go over it again before the Math Fcat.
    Michael, yellow

  9. Glad it helped! Good idea to revue before FCAT