Imagine that you are standing on a beach looking out over the vast expanse of seemingly featureless ocean that lies before you. If you turn around and look at the land on which you are standing, it seems filled with life. Birds hover overhead, trees dot the landscape as far as you can see and perhaps you might be lucky enough to see a few other animals scurry past. Indeed, the surface of this planet we call Earth seems filled with life. However, looks can be deceptive.
If you think of where the creatures you can see live, you'll realize that they inhabit a very thin veneer of the surface. Various worms, bugs and other creatures that are better left alone may dig a few feet below the surface into the rich topsoil. Birds while gliding happily through the sky, must find a place to perch, to build a nest and to find food. Even the most adventurous bird can only perch as high as the tallest tree. So life on land really only exists in a band perhaps several hundred feet thick.... regardless of the actual elevation of the land surface itself.
Back in 1960 when people descended to the deepest part of the ocean for the very first (and last) time, they turned on the outside lights and there, in front of the viewport at a depth of over seven miles (35,802 ft (10,912 m)), was a strange looking little fish looking back at them and probably wondering who these visitors were. This "flatfish at the very nadir of the earth" was living at a place where the water pressure was more than 8 tons per square inch, or the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets. Just to give you a sense of scale, at that depth you could cut Mount Everest off at sea level and put in on the ocean floor at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, where that little fish was swimming, and there would still be over a mile of water over the top of it.
So when you consider the fact that life in the oceans can be found from the surface all the way down to the very bottom of the deepest submarine trench, it is not surprising to realize that the oceans represent over 99% of the living space on Earth....we are indeed living on what is truly an Ocean Planet.
DIVE IN HERE
There are three special WHY questions to start...
Why should we care about the Ocean(s)?
Why study oceans from space?
What color is the Ocean? (and why do you need a satellite to tell you.)
The comments box is open
What do you think?
What more would you like to learn? ( any surprises ?)
How does this information help your understanding?