Our Ocean

by Bill Davis

Earlier this week I came across a great post, on LinkedIn of all places, on the Deep Sea and as I thought it was a really cool post I wanted to share it with folks.  

For me, the engaging part is the interactivity as you scroll down through the five different layers of the ocean to arrive 10,924 meters, ~35,840 feet or 6811 feet deeper than Mount Everest is tall, at the Challenger Deep.  Worth spending at least 15 minutes, ideally more, scrolling through this if the ocean fascinates you (like it does me).  While the descent was entertaining, what really put the cherry on top was learning about Jaques Piccard's and Don Walsh's 1960 descent to Challenger Deep which was ~9.5 years before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.  I mention that specifically because the consensus is we seem to know more about near space than the ocean even though we arrived at the deepest point almost a decade before landing on the moon.

Until this, I was always under the impression James Cameron was the first person to descend to Challenger Deep in March of 2012.  So to learn that two gentleman had done this ~52 years earlier was a bit mind blowing, especially as over the last year I have been tracking The Five Deeps Expedition of Victor Vescovo that will be chronicled by Discovery Channel in the documentary Deep Planet in February.

Given we are < 1 year out from the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, it seems like a great way to kick off 2020 and show our appreciation for the ocean and our dependency upon it given at least every second breath we take comes from the ocean.  

Our reliance on the ocean is so great, yet we know so little that right now seems like as good a time as any to start getting curious and expand our knowledge.  And in honor of that, Lewis Pugh, United Nations Patron of the Ocean, will "swim across a supraglacial lake in Antarctica" in a Speedo, no wetsuit, next Wed, 1/22, to raise awareness of climate change along with it's impact on the ocean.  Given he's going to swim in water that "will be zero degrees” and “the air temperature will probably be -30C" as "East Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth", the least we can do is wish him well on his venture.