15 Most Surprising Facts About the Ocean Floor

Starfish an corals ocean floor

The ocean floor is so vast that it covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface. This makes the ocean very difficult for scientists to explore the deep sea and the life it holds because of its depth. In fact, it is said that we know more about the moon than we know about the deeper ocean. Here are 15 facts about the ocean floor.

  1. If we stack the Statue of Liberty on top of itself forty seven times, that would be equal to the depth of the ocean which is around 14,000 feet.
  2. Although the ocean bed covers around 70% of the Earth’s surface, we have just explored 5% of it and besides that, we have better maps of Mars than we have of the ocean floor
  3. Mount Everest is 36,200 feet high and is located in the southern Mariana trench. If Mount Everest is placed within the deepest part of the ocean, its peak would be covered by over 7000 feet of water.
  4. The primary producers like plants create all nutrients and the energy in the upper water column. In the deepest part of the oceans however, the light does not reach the seafloor due to which photosynthesis is impossible to take place. So the marine animals which die in the upper water column sink down. The primary producers and other organisms create a ‘marine snow’ when they die and float down the ocean floor. When looking at it from the perspective of the ocean floor, it looks like it’s snowing all around.
  5. When a whale dies, it sinks down the ocean depth and lands on the ocean floor. After they die, they become a concentrated food source for many of the organisms living under the ocean. This forms a biological hotspot in the depths of the ocean for more than a year after the whale falls.
  6. Mountains not only exist on the land but also beneath the ocean. The largest range of mountains exists beneath the ocean. The Mid-Ocean Ridge named aptly stretches for about 40,389 miles and is located at the boundaries of multiple tectonic plates on the Earth.
  7. If all of the gold could be extracted from the ocean floor. We would have so much gold that it would be enough to give every person in the world around nine pounds. It is unfortunate that there is no cost effective way that has been discovered yet to extract the gold from the oceans.
  8. Most of the animals which live on the ocean floor have the color red. The red light is absorbed completely within the first 300 feet of water which means that anything which has the color red would appear grey or black. This change of colors creates an excellent form of camouflage.
  9. Many hydrothermal vents which are present on the ocean floor have ecosystems that are completely independent from the sun. The energy for the ecosystems is fixed from toxic compounds, for example, hydrogen sulfide rather than from sunlight.
  10. Huge volcanoes erupt underwater. Underwater volcanoes have created many oceanic islands. In fact, Hawaii is an example as it was formed by an underwater volcano.
  11. Pacific Ocean Basin is the largest ocean basin in the world. It is so large that it can hold every continent on earth.
  12. The biggest problem which the explorers face while going under pressure is that there is a lot of pressure. The pressure increases by one atmosphere for every 33 feet as they go below the surface. Henceforth, this would mean that in Challenger deep (10,000m depth), the pressure would be around 1100 times the surface pressure on Earth. 
  13. One of the amazing features of the ocean is underwater kelp forests. These are attached to the ocean floor with a root-like structure called holdfast. They are also able to float up in the water column due to the gas bubbles in their leaves.
  14. There are many lakes which are present under the water. The Gulf of Mexico is an example of this. They were formed when the seawater seeped through the thick layers of salt making the water extremely concentrated and dense. Since the water gets denser than the normal sea water, it would settle on the low points of the ocean floor making the waves and shore visible for us.
  15. The oceanic canyons are like the Grand Canyon and are a feature of continental shelves all over the world. They were initially formed in ancient times by river erosion during a time of lower sea levels. They are home to many varieties of marine life.
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These facts are good to know since they are a major part of the planet Earth which we call our home. If you have any further facts to share you can email us or hit up the comments below, we would love to know more!

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