How Much of the Ocean Has Been Explored? Shockingly Little!

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remotely operated vehicles underwater

remotely operated vehicles underwater

ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) are very useful in the exploration of the deep ocean floor without the need to send divers who might be subject to risk. ROVs rely on ocean currents to carry them along. Humberto Ramirez/Getty Images

Boldly going where no one has gone before, the deep sea is Earth’s final frontier. Beyond the warm embrace of the sunlight zone, the ocean plunges into darkness, crushing pressures and icy temperatures.

Here, in the absence of light, the ocean floor remains a mystery, with places like the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean exerting a pressure a thousand times greater than the sea’s surface.


Ocean Exploration Technology, From Satellites to Submarines

Technology has revolutionized our understanding of the ocean’s surface. Satellites provide a bird’s-eye view of surface temperatures and marine life indicators, but that’s just scratching the surface.

To truly explore the ocean depths, we’ve developed advanced tools like sonar and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), which brave the abyssal plains without human risk.

But while the technology may be available, the ocean’s vastness presents a logistical labyrinth. Agencies like NOAA spearhead efforts to chart these uncharted waters, relying on ROVs and submarines to illuminate the ocean floor.

Yet, with so much ground to cover, even the most advanced machinery can only explore so much.


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