What can be found at the bottom of the ocean and what is the depth of the ocean?
Although humans have explored and discovered most of the land on Earth, the vast majority of our planet is covered by water. In fact, the ocean accounts for over 95% of the earth's living space, with only a tiny percent of the world being the ground on which we stand. Despite the advancements in technology, 80% of the ocean remains unexplored and untouched, leaving scientists to estimate that up to 10 million ocean species are still undiscovered. Recently, however, researchers have discovered some remarkable creatures in the deepest, darkest trenches of the world's oceans.
To better understand and study this underwater realm, scientists have divided the ocean into zones, including the sunlight, twilight, midnight, abyssal, and hadal zones.
The sunlight zone, which extends down over 600 feet from the surface, is home to various marine species like sharks, jellyfish, and sea turtles. The twilight zone, starting at 650 feet, has very little light and extends down to 3,280 feet, and is home to animals that feed off falling food particles or prey on victims in the sunlight zone, including lantern fish, viperfish, and mid-water jellyfish.
The midnight zone, from 3,200 to over 13,000 feet, is a cold, dark ocean area inhabited by anglerfish, vampire fish, octopuses, and eels. The abyssal zone, starting at 13,000 feet and extending over 19,000 feet to the ocean floor, covers 83% of the ocean and 60% of the earth's surface. In this zone, life exists despite the lack of oxygen, light, frigid temperatures, and extreme pressure, and includes chemosynthetic bacteria, worms, small fish, and certain shark species.
Finally, the hadal zone, the deepest part of the ocean, consists of trenches on the ocean floor and is home to various depressions, including 13 troughs and 33 trenches. The average ocean trench is 9,000 to 13,000 feet deep, but there are at least five trenches deeper than 32,000 feet.
Although the ocean's average depth is estimated to be around 12,100 feet, this figure is only based on mapping 10% of the ocean floor as of 2010, and the actual depth of the deepest parts of the ocean remains unknown. Despite this, researchers continue to explore the ocean's depths, hoping to uncover new and fascinating discoveries.