Boldly go where no one has gone before, the deep sea constitutes the last frontier of the Earth. Beyond the heat of the solar zone, the ocean plunges into darkness, experiencing crushing pressures and freezing temperatures.
Here, in the absence of light, the ocean floor remains a mystery, with places like the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean exerting pressure a thousand times that of the sea surface.
Ocean exploration technology, from satellites to submarines
Technology has revolutionized our understanding of the ocean surface. Satellites provide a snapshot of surface temperatures and indicators of marine life, but that only scratches the surface.
To truly explore the ocean depths, we have developed advanced tools like sonar and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), which brave the abyssal plains without human risk.
But even if the technology is available, the vastness of the ocean presents a logistical maze. Agencies like NOAA are spearheading efforts to map these uncharted waters, relying on ROVs and submarines to illuminate the ocean floor.
Yet with so much further to go, even the most advanced machines can only explore so much.