How deep is an Ocean?

How deep is an Ocean?

How deep is the ocean? As we know that there are four ocean basins that include the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian and the Arctic Oceans. But in reality, these four oceans are just a part of a single supergiant water body surrounding the Earth. This giant ocean covers almost 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and you won’t believe that it also contains 99 percent of the Earth’s Biosphere which is life supporting stratum of the Earth’s surface. This also means that the rest of the living organisms, including trees, animals, and even we (humans), live on only 1 percent of the Biosphere, which gives us a glimpse of the ocean’s vastness and deepness. But the vital question is, how deep an ocean is?

Over the years, scientists have ventured into the oceanic depths. And they have divided it into different parts, starting from the uppermost layer called the sunlight zone or epipelagic zone. This is the area where there is enough sunlight. It stretches between 0 - 650 feet beneath the sea’s surface and is home to endless species, including the blue whales who hunt at the depths of around 330 feet.

And as we dive deeper, the sunlight begins to fade, and we enter the twilight zone or Mesopelagic zone, which expands from approximately 650 feet to 3300 feet below the surface of the ocean. Scuba diving at this point is dangerous for humans as the pressure is 26 times greater than on the Earth’s surface. But it is still home to many aquatic species, including giant squids, small shrimps and Fangtooth fish.

Below twilight comes the midnight zone or the Bathypelagic zone that stretches from 3300 feet to approximately 13100 feet. This is the point where light doesn’t reach at all and is engulfed in impenetrable darkness. Hence, the name, the Midnight zone. To survive in such a low - light environment, many species like the jellies produce their own light through a process called Bioluminescence to avoid being eaten and attract prey.

Next comes the Abyssal zone that extends from 13100 feet to approximately 19700 feet and is the pitch - black bottom layer of the ocean. It gets its name Abyss from a Greek word meaning “no bottom” because they thought the ocean was bottomless. Three quarters of the area of the deep - ocean floor lies in this zone, and below it comes the deepest zone of the ocean, which we call “The Trench Zone” or Hadalpelagic Zone. The Hadalpelagic Zone extends from 19700 feet to approximately to the very bottom at 36070 feet in the Mariana Trench off the coast of Japan. Over here, the temperature is constant at just above freezing, and it has the deepest point known to humans, called the Challenger Deep. But despite the challenges, the scientists were shocked to find a tiny single - celled organisms, called Foraminifera a type of plankton, living in the bottom of the ocean.

But as we know, a significant part of this magical ocean it yet to be discovered, and who knows, what we might find out someday.

Did you know the average depth of the ocean is about 12100 feet? Also it is said, Mount Everest would fit into the Mariana Trench with a mile or so to spare.

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