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Adina1968's avatar

Why have we not been able to explore the ocean at greater depths?

Asked by Adina1968 (2737 points ) February 27th, 2009

Last night I watched a show on the Marianas Trench. It got me wondering why we haven’t been able to advance with our technology and send men to explore greater depths of the ocean? This was the deepest that men have ever travelled down into the sea. (7 miles down.) Recorded in 1960. If we can send men into outer space, then why are we not trying to send men down to explore greater depths or our ocean?

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23 Answers

Bluefreedom's avatar

The Marianas Trench is already the greatest known depth, at 35,798 feet, of any body of water in the world. There are no greater depths to explore.

ubersiren's avatar

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure

wundayatta's avatar

I think we explore everywhere in the ocean with robots. Why do we need to send a man down?

Triiiple's avatar

So they can say MAN did it!

willbrawn's avatar

Better question is “where the he’ll are in underwater cities?!”

Darwin's avatar

Exploring the ocean just isn’t the same since Jacques Cousteau died. And it has never been as sexy as exploring outer space.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Don’t go down there – it’s DARK!

I think sea vehicles and whatnot aren’t capable of withstanding all that pressure yet. 38,000+ feet down will bear a lot of pressure an any sub.

tonedef's avatar

Well, it all comes down to pressure: hydrostatic, political, and financial. Nobody wants to fund fabulous sea exploration missions to find new species or document new places, since it doesn’t yield much in the way of political or financial opportunity. Space, however, is big business, and companies and governments have scrambled nonstop to shoot as much junk as possible up there, in an effort to get ahead in telecommunications and intelligence.

The lonely subluminal zone of our ocean offers nothing but pure scientific satisfaction. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look good on a grant application.

Adina1968's avatar

@daloon If that is the case then we only need to send robots into outerspace. There is no need to send humans out into space according to your answer.

wundayatta's avatar

@Adina1968: I agree with that, too. We don’t need people out in space. They add very little other than cachet. Also, they are not cost-effective. For every manned mission, you could send out umpteen robotic missions for the same price. We would know a hell of a lot more about our solar system, had we not gotten stuck in manned space exploration.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@daloon – Oh, but we went because we wanted to see for ourselves! You know how it is. I’d love to see for myself what’s out there! Or down there! Or over there!

Artem's avatar

@daloon and @Adina1968 : I disagree. Robots definately can’t always detect and prove the subtle nuances of things that have caused tremendous leaps in science. They’re scientists. They aren’t just there to be out in space. The research that they do up there is critical for understanding things off of our own planet and space itself.

wundayatta's avatar

@Artem: yeah, this is a big debate in the space exploration community and in the society at large, as well as here. To some degree, I think it’s a matter of belief more than science. I don’t want to concede the point, and I also don’t want to do further research. Agree to disagree?

Artem's avatar

@daloon My favorite type of solution. You rarely change someone’s mind, but if you agree to disagree, you both know the sides of the equation, but you’re okay with that.

wundayatta's avatar

@Artem Absoposilutely!

toleostoy's avatar

I recommend reading Bill Bryson’s book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. The submarine that was used to go down the Mariana Trench no longer exists, and no one has wanted to dish out the cash for a sub like it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

We really need to do more exploration of our oceans. There are sooooo many fascinating creatures down there just waiting to be discovered. I read a pretty interesting article just last week about some new animals discovered on the ocean floors by tasmania.

Adina1968's avatar

@Artem I don’t think that we should only send robots. My question is to the contrary. I would like to see more expolration of our oceans. The show I was watching got me to thinking how we spend all of this money on space exploration (I am not against space exploration FYI.) but the greatest depth that we have been in the ocean is 7 miles and that was in 1960. Our oceans are amazing and it seems that there is so much more exploration that could be done. It is a shame that no one really feels that it is of value to invest the money necessary to learn more about a major part of our planet!

Mtl_zack's avatar

Will Google Earth 5.0 help?

Artem's avatar

@Adina1968 See, I think some of the problem is that a lot of the ocean has already been explored. It’s been mapped out almost (if not completely) all the way, and we do have research vessels that travel across the seven seas just to do the kind of research I assume that you’re talking about. Correct me if I’m gravely mistaken, but asides from unusual species (Which they’re still finding all the time!) there isn’t a whole lot that we don’t know about under the water, no?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Artem the thing is some of these unusual species that we’re finding in the ocean can solve a lot of the problems we have up here above the water.

“I think some of the problem is that a lot of the ocean has already been explored.”
No, it hasnt. 95 percent of the ocean remains unexplored

@Mtl_zack at first i thought that was just a joke, guess not
from that page “In fact, there are better images of the moon and Mars than of much of the world’s undersea topography.”

steve6's avatar

I watched a show last night on the trench. Was it about plate tectonics?

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