Exploring the Deepest Parts of the World's Oceans

Scientists are starting to find out more about the deepest part of the world’s oceans - the trenches. They extend down to 11,000 metres below sea level and are among the most mysterious parts of our planet.

The deep seas are under an enormous water pressure - one ton per square cm , temperatures drop to about  1°C.  Oceanographers state that large parts of the world’s oceans are unexplored. What we know about the oceans is concentrated on the areas that reach depths of 5,000 meters and less. Not much has yet been found out about deep sea regions and trenches because it is dangerous and costly to send manned or unmanned objects to examine these areas.

Trenches occur where ocean plates meet and one plate descends under another. The deepest part of the world’s oceans is the Mariana Trench , which has a depth of  11000 metres. Most exploration is done by robots that are attached to a cable.

They get commands from research ships on the ocean surface and send back data from their sensors. Cameras collect video footage from the deep ocean floors with cameras that are sensitive to light. Such unmanned craft also have arms for collecting material on the ocean floor. In many cases they can map the seafloor and bring back data that has not yet been attained.

Deep sea exploration requires complex technology  that scientists not always have. They need machines and tools that can withstand the great pressures of such depths. They also need a big crew to deal with such a mission. Jacques Piccard was the first to descend to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in 1960 .In 2012 James Cameron, a Hollywood director , explored the trench in an adventurous expedition.

Animal life is very scarce in the trench regions, primarily because sunlight does not get there. Amphipods and eels are the most common creatures in these deep oceans. Snailfish are the deepest living fish known - found at 7,700 metres. New videos recently made in a trench northeast of New Zealand show images a deep sea crustacean, a creature that scientists did not expect to find there.

Bathyscaphe Triest - The first manned vehicle to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench

Bathyscaphe Triest - The first manned vehicle to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench


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  • among = belong to
  • amphipod = small animal without a backbone that lives in the ocean
  • attach = connect
  • attain = receive, get
  • complex = very complicated, not simple
  • costly = expensive
  • craft = here: robot
  • creature = living thing
  • crew = people who work together on a ship
  • crustacean = animal like  a that has a hard outer shell and many legs; it usually lives in the water
  • data = information
  • depth = how deep something is
  • descend = go down
  • eel = long thin fish that looks like a snake and can be eaten
  • enormous = massive, giant, very big
  • examine = look at closely
  • exploration = study, research
  • extend = go down, reach
  • map = make a plan of
  • occur = happen, are found
  • oceanographer = a person who studies the world’s oceans
  • recently = only a short time ago
  • require = need
  • research ship = ship that floats on the ocean surface and collects information from the robots
  • scare = rare, not many
  • scientist = a person who is trained in science
  • sea level = average height of the sea, used as a standard for measuring other objects, like cities or mountains
  • sensitive = to react  to very small changes in light, temperature etc..
  • sensor = object used to find out if something is moving or if there is light or heat in a place
  • square cm = square of one cm length
  • state = explain
  • surface = the top part of an object
  • trench = long narrow valley in the ocean
  • unexplored = unknown, new
  • video footage = parts of a film
  • withstand = to be strong enough to stay undamaged