08 Jun 10 Weird & Wonderful Facts About Our Oceans You Probably Didn’t Know
Today, World Oceans Day is celebrated across the globe and we are encouraged to take a moment to appreciate the magnificence that is our seas.
Our oceans are a vital part of the biosphere and are critical to climate control and food security. Without them, we would not survive.
Here are a few interesting facts about our oceans you probably did not know:
1.The World’s Biggest Waterfall is in the Atlantic Ocean
The Denmark Straight Cataract is the world’s highest waterfall at 3 505 meters. Cold water on the eastern side is denser than the warm water from the western side. When the two meet, the cold water sinks creating an impressive underwater waterfall.
2.Without them We Can’t Breathe
Oceans are responsible for 70% of the world’s oxygen supply due to marine plants releasing it as a byproduct of photosynthesis. Prochlorococcus, a type of phytoplankton, is said to be responsible for one in every five breaths we take!
3.About 90% of Our Oceans are Still Unmapped
It will take an estimated 125 years to complete the task.
4.There are Lakes and Rivers Under the Surface
As water under the sea floor seeps up, it dissolves salt layers making the body of water emerging more salty and dense while forming depressions. It sinks and forms pools and streams under water creating a habitat for creatures found nowhere else.
5.Coral Reefs Wear Sunscreen
Did you know that corals produce natural sunscreen compounds for protection against UV rays? Scientists are attempting to mimic this natural sun protection for use in skincare products in the future.
6.Antarctic Fish Have Natural Antifreeze
Have you ever wondered how fish at the poles survive the low temperatures? Turns out that natural antifreeze proteins in the fish prevent ice crystals from forming and keep their blood flowing.
7.About Two Thirds of Marine Life Have Not Been Identified
According to the world register, just 226 000 of one million marine species have been catalogued.
8.Mysterious Underwater Sound
The Bloop was an ultra-low frequency and very powerful sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1997. Who or what made this sound, remains a mystery.
9.Giant Kelp Grows Extremely Fast
These seaweeds undergo huge growth spurts and can grow up to two feet (0.6 meters) in a single day!
Waste that runs off into the ocean can end up causing an overabundance of algae who feeds off it. The algae dies and sinks to the bottom where it decomposes and uses up all the available oxygen creating hypoxic areas that are unlivable for marine life.
Want to know more about our oceans and the creatures that live in it? Don’t miss the premiere of Where Oceans Collide on Nat Geo Wild at 6pm tonight.