More than seventy per cent of the globe is made up of oceans, yet these underwater places are the least known areas of the planet. Even now only an estimated ten per cent of the ocean floor has actually been mapped in detail. There is still a lot to be discovered.
The average depth of the world’s oceans is over 3,600 meters, with the deepest areas found in oceanic trenches, such as the Mariana Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean about 200 kilometers east of the Mariana Islands. With nearly 11,000 meters below the sea surface, it is considered the deepest point on earth.
Deepest points of our planet
On the other hand Mount Everest is, technically spoken, the highest point on Earth, reaching 8,848 meters above sea-level, but if you start measuring from the seafloor, there are some much higher mountains. Mauna Loa in Hawaii, 9,170 meters above the seafloor, is probably the highest. Only 4,170 meters of this is exposed above the sea surface.
You could submerge Mount Everest in the Mariana Trench and still have space for Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 1,917 meters, or Tongariro, a compound volcano in the Taupo Volcanic Zone of the North Island of New Zealand, as well. You could also fit thirteen buildings the height of the Burj al Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, in the trench, stacked end to end.
Just imagine that only a century ago Marie Tharp made major strides in discovering more about the world’s oceans and started mapping the entire ocean floor. Despite the barriers of being a female scientist in the male-dominated scientific community of the twentieth century, Marie Tharp’s work led to revolutionary discoveries and the maps of the ocean still affect us today. Step by step scientists and researchers reveal the secrets of the deepest points on our planet. But nearly a hundred years after Marie drew her maps of the seabed, only less than ten per cent of the global ocean is mapped.
There is still a lot to discover nowadays and unlike in the time of Marie Tharp we have high-tech and sophisticated equipment at our disposal. Moreover, both men and women are now involved in the current world of hydrography and its related activities. At Hydro International we closely follow all technical innovations, explorations, activities, discoveries and events.
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Cees van Dijk,
Content manager Hydro International.
This post is sponsored by our media partner, Hydro International.