An Ocean of Possibilities

The tremendous potential of the unexplored depths

September 2021

Script

This video is part of our Kite & Key Shorts series—easy to understand...but hard to forget.

 

It’s dark. It’s mysterious. It’s the final frontier.

It’s...the ocean?

Yep, that’s right.

The ocean covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and contains around 97% of the world’s water.i

But over 80% of the ocean has never been mapped, explored, or even seen by humans.ii

In fact, we’ve mapped the surfaces of the moon and Mars more than our own ocean floor.iii

Why?

Because the ocean is so deep.

If Mount Everest was placed at the deepest point of the ocean its peak would not break the surface of the water.iv

There’s no telling what’s left to be discovered deep underwater.

Over 91% of maritime species are unidentified.v In fact, scientists think undiscovered species could be the source of new medicines that could be used for everything from pain killers to cancer treatments.vi

Mapping the ocean floor could also help us access resources critical for life on land.vii

Just one spot in the Pacific is estimated to have 25,000 tons of the rare-earth elements needed for technology like smart phones and computers.viii

And scientists estimate that there may be more rare earths in the ocean than in all the land on the planet.ix

So, the next time you go to the beach, remember there’s more down there than just seaweed and coral.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  1. Over 80% of the ocean has never been mapped, explored, or even seen by humans.
  2. Over 91% of maritime species are unidentified, and scientists think many could be sources of new medicines.
  3. Just one spot in the Pacific is estimated to have 25,000 tons of the rare earths needed for technology like smart phones and computers.

Sources

  1. "Resource Library - Encyclopedic Entry: Ocean" — National Geographic
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. "How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?" (Camilo Mora, et al.) — PLOS Biology
  6. "Why Do We Explore the Ocean?" — National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
  7. "Ecosystem Function and Services Provided by the Deep Sea" (A.R. Thurber, et al.) — European Geosciences Union
  8. "Sea Holds Treasure Trove of Rare-earth Elements" (Nicola Jones) — Nature
  9. Ibid.

Shownotes

SOUND: “Past 2 Present” (Kian How)

FOOTAGE: Gerard Soury (Getty)

CITED SOURCES AND NEWS OUTLETS ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH THIS PRODUCTION.

Sources

  1. National Geographic
    "Resource Library - Encyclopedic Entry: Ocean"
  2. PLOS Biology
    "How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?" (Camilo Mora, et al.)
  3. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    "Why DWe Explore the Ocean?" 
  4. European Geosciences Union 
    "Ecosystem Function and Services Provided by the Deep Sea" (A.R. Thurber, et al.)
  5. Nature 
     "Sea Holds Treasure Trove of Rare-earth Elements" (Nicola Jones) 

Delve Deeper

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