By Stephanie Stapf
The ocean if full of mystery. Even in the 21st century, the vast majority of its depths remain unexplored. Despite the uncertainty surrounding Earth’s underwater regions, new discoveries are constantly coming to light.
Traditionally, the ocean is thought to be located above the upper mantle and the crust. Recent scientific evidence suggests that there may still be more to discover about the ocean’s placement, specifically, the presence of an “ocean” inside the Earth’s mantle.
In a 2014 report by the academic journal Science, it’s said that the “high water storage capacity of minerals in Earth’s mantle transition zone (410- to 660-kilometer depth) implies the possibility of a deep H2O reservoir.”
While scientists regard it as unlikely for large organisms to reside in this underground body of water, the existence of tiny life forms is not out of the question. After all, microorganisms have survived incredibly harsh conditions in the past. A single-celled organism called Geogemma barossii was once found within the northwest US coast’s deep-sea hydrothermal vents.
The ocean’s unexplored regions allow for the possibility of strange and unique inhabitants. One alien-like sea creature that’s been discovered is the long-nosed chimaera. The fish is believed to live 3,000 feet below the ocean. Chimaeras are known as one of the world’s oldest fish species and is speculated to have been around since the dinosaurs. However, the long nosed chimera is rarely seen since it lives deep within the ocean in regions that are difficult for humans to reach.
Scientists are still not sure on exactly how much water pressure humans can withstand. Most professional divers don’t swim past 400 feet. What scientists do know is what would occur if a diver crossed their body’s limit. According to Medical Daily, “A diver could die from bleeding into the lungs, or pass out from the strain the redistribution of blood lays on the heart.” When scuba divers push their limit, it’s common for them to cough up blood when they reach the surface.
Each new discovery brings us one step closer to uncovering all of the ocean’s mysteries. Although this may seem like a far-off goal, future technologies and innovations guarantee that much will be unearthed in the years to come.