40 Deeply Interesting Facts About Our Oceans

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1Sea Burial

It is 100% legal to be buried at sea in the USA. You basically wrap the body in a sheet with some weights, at least 3 miles from shore and throw it off the boat. The Navy even has a program to assist veterans of the armed services.


2. The earth's oceans may be teeming with massive, hollow, worm-like entities called pyrosome that can grow as big as a sperm whale.


3. If we could capture just 0.1% of the ocean’s kinetic energy caused by tides, we could satisfy the current global energy demand 5 times over.


4. Over 90% of the ocean’s plastic waste comes from just 10 rivers, 8 of which are in Asia, and 2 of which are in Africa.


5. Modern nuclear submarines are so well cloaked that in 2009, two nuclear ballistic missile submarines (French and British) collided in the Atlantic Ocean by pure chance. Moving very slowly, they weren’t able to detect each other just feet apart.


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6Oxygen

70% of the world’s oxygen supply actually comes from the ocean as opposed to trees.


7. When ships pass through Point Nemo in the southern Pacific Ocean, the closest other humans they are to are in the International Space Station 400 km up.


8. A total of nine nuclear submarines have been sunk around the world and most remain on the ocean floor with their nuclear weapons and reactors intact.


9. Jeff Bezos funded a team that searched the Atlantic Ocean for discarded NASA rockets. By 2013, the team salvaged two rockets. After careful inspection, the team realized they found part of the rockets used to carry Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon on Apollo 11.


10. Every year hundreds of Great White Sharks migrate to a random area in the mid-Pacific ocean and loiter around, no one knowing why. This area has been named the “White Shark Cafe.”


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11Mariana Trench

More people have been to the moon than to the bottom of the ocean’s deepest point, Mariana Trench.


12. ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea’ refers not to depth, but the distance traveled whilst submerged.


13. Most of the internet data is not transferred across continents by satellites. Instead, 97% of intercontinental data is transferred through hundreds of thousands of miles of cables at the bottom of the ocean.


14. There is an area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where retired spacecraft have been routinely deposited. It is known as the “Spacecraft Cemetery”, and notably it is also the place where the defunct Mir space station rests.


15. Old NYC subway cars are dumped into the Atlantic Ocean to help build an artificial reef to serve as a habitat for marine life.


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16Whale Fall

When a whale dies and its carcass falls into the Bathyal or Abyssal zone of the ocean floor, it can sustain a complex localized ecosystem of deep-sea organisms for decades. This is called a “whale fall”.


17. Deep-Sea Gigantism is the tendency for species to be larger than their shallower-water relatives. Proposed explanations include: scarcer resources; greater pressure; and colder temperatures.


18. Until 40 years ago scientists believed all life and food chains ultimately depended on the sun for energy. The discovery of deep-sea vents with whole ecosystems driven solely by chemical energy changed this view. Now it’s thought that life may have actually originated from such systems.


19. Coconuts transported themselves around the world by floating through the oceans. This is one of the reasons (along with human interference) coconuts are so widespread worldwide. So, yes, coconuts do migrate.


20. Since sound can travel through the water better than it can in air, the potential number of decibels is greatly increased. LFA Sonar used by ships and submarines is the loudest man-made noise, reaching 200+ decibels. Marine biologists believe that sea creatures may beach themselves to escape the noise.


21Mermaids

Most mermaid “sightings” by historical sea travelers were most likely manatees, dugongs, or Steller’s sea cows. In fact, Christopher Columbus spotted 3 manatees near the Dominican Republic and would later write that mermaids are “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”


22. Children from some ethnic groups of Southeast Asia (called Sea Gypsies) are capable of seeing clearly underwater and this skill wears off as they grow up. Some suggest that with practice any young person could achieve an underwater vision.


23. Divers working on deep-sea infrastructure such as oil pipelines live in a pressurized chamber for a month. They are then taken between the chamber and their worksite by a pressurized diving bell. That way, they only need to be decompressed once, at the end of each 28-day job. This is called saturation diving.


24. Thousands of Shipping Containers are lost to the sea each year, and if a container's cargo weight does not exceed 80% of the containers rated capacity, they will float. About 10,000 shipping containers are lost at sea each year and 10% of those hold toxic chemicals that may leak into the ocean.


25. We don’t get all of our drinking water from the ocean because it costs $1-2 dollars per cubic meter (264 gallons) to desalinate ocean water, while it only costs 10-20 cents to purify freshwater.

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