Oceanography: Deep Ocean Mysteries and Wonders
Ocean exploration refers to discovery through diverse observations and recording of findings from the deep ocean. It incorporates systematic observations and documentation of physical, chemical, biological, archeological, and geological aspects of the deep seas and oceans in dimensions of space and time. Scientists believe that the darkest parts of the ocean harbor ecosystems are more diverse than the tropical forests on land. David Gallo, a marine biologist, takes the lead in exploring such diversity in the ocean. According to him, scientists and explorers have discovered a mere 3 percent of life in the ocean. The three percent includes the deepest valleys in the world, the highest mountains, underwater falls, underwater lakes, mid ocean ridges and many more. For example, the largest waterfall on earth is underwater, in a place near Iceland. In these lakes and ponds, there are creatures that thrive in them devoid of the surrounding ocean. The remaining 97 percent of the ocean still awaits exploration, which means there is so much in store for explorers and scientists to discover.
Land covers slightly less than 30 percent of the earth’s surface while the rest is water. Explorers have already discovered much of land, but little about the ocean, which covers most part of the earth. This means that humanity is still ignorant of what the earth holds. Notably, the ocean plays a crucial role in balancing the human life. Oceans affect human food, drinking water, and the air in the atmosphere. Few expeditioners or scientists are willing to explore the deepest oceans since there is little information about the ocean. Scientists have explored only five percent of seawater. This is because the whole exploration exercise is too involving and expensive.
There are extremely many species of living things in the ocean. Research shows that life can thrive even without light. Some of them face distinction before they are even studied. The protection of such species of marine life is essential for further studies; they might prove helpful to humanity in the near future. There are also many natural disasters happening around the world like tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruption. It is vital to note that approximately 80 percent of the world’s volcanic eruptions take place underwater. Some volcanoes are acutely fierce that they turn the floor of the ocean into liquid. They even cause shock waves on the bottom of the sea (Gallo, David Gallo on life in the deep oceans, 2008).
David Gallo, Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, is a world-renowned ocean explorer. Woods Hole is a private engineering and education institution dedicated to ocean research. Gallo works with various scientists and engineers in exploring and discovering the world, especially the oceans. He has gone for many expeditions to the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, including the Mediterranean Sea (Gallo, David Gallo on life in the deep oceans, 2008). He is committed to pushing the bounds of oceanic discovery and becoming a pioneer in the undersea world. He was amongst the first explorers to employ the services of submarines and robots in mapping out the undersea. Some of his explorations include those of RMS Titanic, the lost WWII submarine USS Grunion, and the German battleship Bismarck using submarines from Russia.
Moreover, Gallo (2008) seeks to lead humanity in understanding the relationship they have with the sea. He was part of a team that formulated and developed the Liquid Jungle Laboratory of Panama. The project aimed at fostering an understanding of the link between humanity, tropical forests, and marine environment along the coastal lines. He was also a key factor in the Jason Project. He plays an instrumental role in explaining to the public the importance of science exploration and engineering. He closely works with other scientists, filmmakers, and the media in exploration and discovery.
Dr. Gallo is now involved with two competitions: the First Robotics Competition and the National Underwater Robotics Competition. Many view him as an ambassador between humans and the Sea. He has traveled widely to lecture about both science and engineering, and how it benefits the human population. Dr. Gallo is a Ph. D. holder in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island besides receiving a B.Sc. and M.Sc. Degree in Geological Science from the State University of New York. Robert Ballard invited him to be part of an exploration team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He took up the post of assistant director for Marine Exploration.
There is a need for people to take this issue seriously. Moreover, the public-at-large should understand and support environmental issues in general. The oceans bring many changes to the climate and weather of the world, and hence call for an extensive study to obtain answers about phenomena like tornadoes and typhoons. The deep sea, however, remains a mystery because it is unfriendly to humanity. For this reason, it remains the least explored earth surfaces. Traditional methods of exploration cannot work anymore. There is the need for a new approach if deep-sea research is to be successful. The use of robots and submarines is the right step towards this direction.
Pressure increases each time an explorer attempts to go deep in the sea. There are areas that can reach pressures of more than 1000 atmospheres. This means that, it is an extremely difficult exercise without the use of proper equipment and mechanical aid. It also acts as a barrier when scientists attempt to study any living thing in such parts of the sea. These organisms have already adapted to such amounts of pressure (Gallo, David Gallo on life in the deep oceans, 2008). Exploration is adventure, which then opens up new places. Scientists have already discovered much of the land, hence it is time for them to discover and explore the ocean. It helps humanity understand their place in the universe. There might be information about the deep ocean that will help scientists understand how life take place on land. There are also new species of animals in the deep ocean that scientists can study. They might have products that will help the human species, for example, provide cure to the numerous incurable diseases. Over the last thirty years, scientists have identified a number of marine animals and plants that have unique properties that are essential in fighting disease like cancer. New discoveries in the oceans can be helpful in the future and yield to be the greatest discovery of all time.
The natural resources in the deep ocean can be helpful in creating clean energy and hence protect the environment. The world economy could improve, for example, if there are new varieties of food discovered in the deep ocean. These explorations create jobs as technology improves the world. Notably, ocean discoveries have answered many questions concerning the history of the earth, as well. The theory of plate tectonics, for example, has helped scientists understand the forces that shaped the earth, as we know it. Exploration has also contributed into various disciplines such as mineral, gas exploration, and earthquake science. The exploration has also revealed a number of lost cities as well as vessels, shipwrecks and lost treasures. The lost city of Atlantis is an excellent example of such.
It is a practical idea because we currently have the technology that could further increase the chances of successful deep-sea explorations. These new platforms were unavailable before. Therefore, they have overcome the fears that man is not able to survive under the environment of deep sea. The remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are among the tools that make such an exploration possible. They are sophisticated and can be deployed from surface ships. The umbilical cord connects them to the ships while enhancing power and communication (Gallo, Deep ocean mysteries and wonders, 2012). In essence, they act as the eyes, hands, ears, and other senses of the scientists underwater. The ROVs are cheaper to build and operate than human occupied submersibles. There is no need to fit them with systems that will support human life. Moreover, since there are no human lives at stake, scientists can take even greater risks. They can withstand risks from severe weather or extreme temperatures. They also do not have a limit to the number of participants. These ROVs can be extremely useful in studying the use of light in the deep seas. The development of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUVs) is another milestone. They refer to distinct vehicles that can swim freely using battery power. They are cheaper to construct than ROVs. These vehicles bring hope for oceanic exploration that can be affordable. Discoveries of new sensors also add new scope for probing greater depths of the ocean than before.
In conclusion, despite all these explorations, support awarded to research of the deep ocean is insufficient. Current technology is insufficient to reach the deepest oceans. Only two men have reached the farthest of the ocean, which is part of the earth’s surface, while a dozen men have explored the Moon, an entity that is far out in space. However, with enough support, and newer revolutions in technology, expeditions can reach newer areas and hence benefit the human race. Notably, ocean exploration incorporates systematic observations and documentation of physical, chemical, biological, archeological, and geological aspects of the deep seas and oceans in dimensions of space and time. The darkest parts of the ocean harbor ecosystems are more diverse than the tropical forests on land. According to Gallo (shows underwater astonishments, 2008) scientists and explorers have discovered a mere 3 percent of life in the ocean. The three percent includes the deepest valleys in the world, the highest mountains, underwater falls, underwater lakes, mid ocean ridges and many more. There remaining 97 percent still awaits exploration, which means there is so much in store for explorers and scientists to discover.