Oceans occupy about 71 per cent of the earth’s surface but we know more about the surface of the Moon and about Mars than we do about the deep seafloor despite the fact that we have yet to extract a gram of food, a breath of oxygen or a drop of water from those bodies, says a new book.
Today oceans happen to be the last frontier for humankind.
The future of humankind will depend to a great extent on the resources to be taken from the ocean volume and the seafloor says the book ‘Oceans and the Future of the Human Race’, by Sudipta Kumar De.
Even with the technology available today humankind has better maps of the surface of Mars and dark side of the Moon than of the bottom of the oceans.
While a dozen people have walked on the Moon 384,400 kms above the earth’s surface, only three have descended and come back from the deepest part in the sea, just 11 kms below, the book says.
Most of horrifying part of our realization is that the ocean’s vast resources are not limitless though once thought to be too big to fail, but our ignorance is vast, says the book brought out by GenNext Publication.
Today, we can go to Mars, but the deep ocean really is our final frontier.
The unexplored oceans hold mysteries more compelling, environments more challenging and life-forms more bizarre than anything the vacuum of space has to offer, the book says.
Ocean, the living blue engine, is also the cornerstone of the earth’s life support system. If it is in trouble, so are we, the author says.
Possible solutions to the world’s energy, food, environmental and other problems are far more likely to be found in the nearby oceans than in distant space, the author says.
The space is a distant, hostile and barren place, the study of which yields few major discoveries and an abundance of overhyped claims.
By contrast the oceans are nearby and their study is a potential source of discoveries that could prove helpful for addressing a wide range of national concerns from climate change to disease; for reducing energy, mineral and potable water shortage, the author says.
Also, it is cheaper to go down than up. NASA is spending billions in search of extraterrestrial lives while there are at least 750, 000 new species still waiting to be discovered beneath the waves, the author says.