Challenges of the Deep Sea

Submersibles have been exploring the deep sea since the 1930s.

Earlier this summer, a deep-sea submersible [underwater craft designed for research or exploration] collapsed. There were five people on board. This accident has highlighted the challenges of deep-sea research.

Deep-sea organisms survive without sunlight.

Oceans cover 70 percent of Earth’s surface, but much of this environment is unexplored. There are many challenges with deep-sea research. No sunlight gets to the deepest parts of the ocean. It is pitch black and very cold. But the crushing pressure is the real danger.

Despite these challenges, thousands of people have traveled to the deep sea. Engineers have designed submersibles that keep them safe. These submersibles are surrounded by metal or other materials to protect passengers from the pressure. They are tested many times. They are designed to be able to communicate with a ship above. They have many sensors and tools on board.

There are currently seven deep-sea submersibles. Most of these are used for research. They have made many discoveries. Researchers are still just beginning to uncover the mysteries of the deep. What will they discover next?

What Do You Think?  Would you travel to the deep sea? Why or why not?

Photo Credit: (t)Robert Schwemmer, CINMS, NOAA, (b)Photo Researchers/Science History Images/Alamy Stock Photo