The ocean covers 70% of the world's surface, and it is full of countless mysteries and undiscovered secrets. What scientists know about the ocean is expanding every day, though. Complicated sonar mapping offers further insights, as does the discovery of new, sometimes terrifying species. There is a lot left to learn, but the facts about the ocean we know now are already strange and astounding.
Oceans greatly affect life on Earth, so our fascination with these large bodies of water makes sense. Despite their sometimes terrifying natures, oceans and the creepy creatures that live in them are worthy research topics.
The Gulf Of Mexico Houses An Underwater Lake Called The Hot Tub Of DespairPhoto: Shutterstock
In the Gulf of Mexico, there's an area of dense, salty water that won't mix with the surrounding currents, creating a lake. Most larger sea creatures can't survive exposure to the hydrogen sulfide and methane seeping up from the bottom of the lake.
Some crabs live around the perimeter of the pool, surviving by eating creatures that perish inside the aptly named Hot Tub of Despair.26016Is this amazing?
Viruses Are The Most Abundant Oceanic LifePhoto: Shutterstock
The Earth's oceans contain a staggering amount of viruses. In fact, some scientists estimate the number of ocean-dwelling viruses might be as high as 10 to the 30th power - that's a 1 followed by 30 zeros.
If someone stacked those microscopic organisms end to end, the structure would reach past the nearest 60 galaxies.27223Is this amazing?
Marine Plants Create More Than Half Of The World's OxygenPhoto: Shutterstock
Scientists estimate phytoplankton create between 50% and 85% of the world's oxygen. These tiny plants drift along the surface of the ocean, soaking in sunlight in order to create the essential element through the process of photosynthesis.
In fact, scientists believe the oxygen produced by phytoplankton helped create the ozone layer in the Earth's upper atmosphere.24819Is this amazing?
- Photo: Shutterstock
As far as undersea predators go, sharks can be incredibly dangerous. However, box jellyfish take well over a hundred human lives each year. The tentacles of one box jellyfish carry enough venom to seriously incapacitate 60 adult humans.
Survivors often feel the effects of their stings for weeks.28232Is this amazing?