8 THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT THE OCEAN

by Georgia Fairweather

For  World Ocean Day we celebrated all things Oceanic to remind everyone of the major role the world’s oceans have in everyday life. For me it is a day to celebrate the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the world’s oceans.

In my opinion, oceans are essential to all life on earth, and form the largest ecosystem and living structure on earth. Oceans help provide the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, new medicines, a climate we can live in, beauty, inspiration and recreation. We need to know that we belong to something bigger than ourselves. We want a better future for those we care about. In order to survive and prosper, we need healthy oceans.

Since then my team and I have been working on a small mini series of content covering a diverse array of subjects including Sustainable Pearl Farming within the “Blue Economy”and endangered sea life conservation efforts for animals being raised in captivity.

I wanted to share my favourite facts that you may not know about the ocean to highlight why it is so important to conserve our oceans, and marine life.

1.The ocean is our greatest source of oxygen.

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Most of the oxygen in our atmosphere comes from tiny marine plants in the ocean—specifically, phytoplankton, kelp and algal plankton. Scientists estimate they’re responsible for around 70 percent of the atmosphere’s oxygen, according to National Geographic.

2. One iceberg could supply a million people with drinking water for five years.

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A large iceberg from Antarctica contains more than 20 billion gallons of water, which could conceivably supply one million people with drinking water for five years. But this piece of information isn’t just a great way to illustrate how massive these icebergs are.

A company in the United Arab Emirates is actually planning to begin towing icebergs from Antarctica to the Arabian coast for exact this reason. The country receives, on average, just four inches of rainfall each year, and is at risk of serious drought in the next 25 years, but may be able to solve the problem with this iceberg water solution.

3. If the entire worlds ice supply melted, the sea level would rise 26 stories.

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According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, if all of the glaciers and sheets of Arctic sea ice melted at the same time, the sea level would rise an estimated 262 feet, which is about the height of a 26-story building. This means if we don’t make a serious effort to reduce climate change many of our major cities and islands would be under water.

4. We have better maps of Mars than of the ocean.

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Less than five percent of the ocean has been explored, according to the National Ocean Service. In fact, we have better maps of Mars than of the oceans, despite the fact that it’s nearly 50 million miles away.

5. The majority of life on Earth is aquatic.

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As so much of the Earth’s surface is underwater, it comes as no surprise that marine species outnumber those on land. However, an incredible 94 per cent of the Earth’s living species exist within the oceans.

6. The world’s longest mountain chain is underwater.

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Earth’s longest chain of mountains, the Mid-Ocean Ridge, is almost entirely beneath the ocean, stretching across a distance of 65,000 kilometres. It’s said that this mountain chain is less explored than the surface of Venus or Mars.

7. The Pacific Ocean is wider than the moon

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At its widest point, from Indonesia all the way to Colombia, the Pacific Ocean is wider than the moon, by quite a lot. This expanse of ocean is 12,300 miles across, which is more than five times the diameter of the moon!

8. Oceans have more historical artifacts than all museums combined.

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Recent research shows that there have been so many sunken ships over the years that there are more artifacts from ancient cultures buried at the bottom of the ocean than there are in the museums.

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