Have you ever wondered what lies beneath the sea, beyond what the human eye can see? Next time you’re at the beach, ponder over these ocean mysteries that will make you feel small in the best possible way.
Very little is known about the mysterious giant squid. The sea creature was first photographed as recently as 2004 and captured on video years later – only because it happened to be floating on the surface. What we do know is that the giant squid isn’t the terrifying Kraken-like creature that attacks ships. Unlike its depiction in pop culture (we’re looking at you, “Pirates of the Caribbean”), giant squids are most likely harmless and prefer roaming undisturbed in the deep seas. Although studies are ongoing, scientists estimate that giant squids can grow up to 66 feet.
Many sailors have reported sightings of a “milky” cast to the sea that glowed and stretched beyond the horizon. Scientists didn’t believe these accounts. But in 2006, a satellite picture of a milky sea emerged. Nobody could explain the likely causes behind it. Years later, experiments revealed that the glow came from bioluminescent bacteria. But scientists still cannot explain why they gather in such large numbers – large enough to be visible from space. They also glow continuously, unlike similar organisms that radiate short bursts of light.
The ocean floor
We now have more information about the surface of Mars than we do about the ocean floor. 95% of the seabed remains unexplored – a mind-blowing statistic considering how 70% of the earth’s surface lies below the sea! While scientists have been able to map the ocean floor, poor resolutions mean we can only see up to three miles of it. Advanced technology hopes to bring better focus. We may finally be able to see the ocean floor in its entirety.
In 2016, researchers encountered an odd purple blob bobbing around on the sea bed in California waters. Was it a pregnant octopus? Perhaps it was a new species of jellyfish or a spider egg sac? Scientists were stumped. The questions remain unanswered as research on the orb continues. Many believe it to be a new type of sea snail.
The ocean terrain
Could underwater geology be as stunning as terra firma or perhaps more? The little that scientists have seen indicates that the ocean’s terrain is strikingly similar to land. Think shorelines, waterfalls, and lake-like surfaces on the ocean floor. The Denmark Strait is home to the earth’s largest waterfall, but it lies under the sea. Coldwater cascades down an enormous drop in the ocean floor, falling 11500-feet. For perspective, the largest waterfall on land is 3212 feet. Adding more character and dimension to ocean topography are underwater volcanoes that frequently erupt.