Ever heard the saying “we know more about outer space than we do about our own oceans”?
That’s not technically true, but that doesn’t mean we know nearly enough about our oceans.
Sure, there are plenty of scientific reasons to investigate the oceans. They cover most of the planet, and are home to 97% of our water. People rely on oceans for their jobs, their food, even their leisure. The currents contribute to weather patterns, we need them for transportation, and coastal areas rely on sunny beach weather for their tourism industries.
But I think we can all agree that the most pressing reason to investigate the oceans is that they’re fucking terrifying.
They say that you have to understand your enemy, and the Lovecraftian monsters that live in our oceans are 100% the enemy. They do bizarre shit, they have too many teeth, and they are translucent way too often for my liking.
And you don’t even have to look at the fish! Those massive pits of water have pulled off all kinds of bizarre, inexplicable things. The Bermuda Triangle isn’t the half of it.
Check out some of the craziest things about the ocean, and spruce up your nightmares!
The Baltic Sea anomaly
This is one of those things you’re likely to see on “Ancient Aliens.”
The Baltic Sea anomaly is a strange looking rock formation at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. It’s about 200 feet in diameter and was discovered in 2011 by the Ocean X diving team.
It might be a Nazi anti-submarine device. It might be a battleship turret. Some scientists argue that it isn’t composed of naturally occurring rock, while others argue that it probably is a natural rock formation.
If you aren’t freaked out yet, it’s near something that looks like a staircase leading up to a black hole…
The “Milky seas effect”
It’s like the ocean’s version of the Northern Lights!
“Milky seas” or “mareel” is a phenomenon scientists aren’t sure how to explain, but they think it might be bio-luminescent bacteria. The glow is so bright it can be seen from space. There have been only 235 sightings in the past hundred years or so, most of them near Indonesia. The glowing effect can last days at a time!
Scientists have found signs of bacteria in milky seas, but it’s difficult to explain how they are able to sustain such a bright light for an extended period of time.
What is your secret, magic super-bacteria?! I do not feel like swimming with a tiny organism that can glow as bright as New York City for days at a time.
Sharks are scary and all but I’d rather run into a shark than a squid any day.
The giant squid grows to massive sizes due to “deep sea gigantism,” a phenomenon where animals that live in deeper waters grow to much larger sizes than animals in shallower waters. The giant squid can grow to be 43 feet long, was not photographed alive until 2004, and have been found in all the world’s oceans.
The colossal squid is the largest known invertebrate, measuring up to 46 feet long and weighing over 1600 pounds! It also has the largest eyes of any animal, at 11 inches in diameter.
Because squids live in the deep ocean, they are very difficult to study and we still know very little about them. They use their tentacles to bring food, usually shrimp, fish, and smaller squids, to their beak-like mouths. But they may actually eat whales, too…
It’s more than a little scary that some of the biggest animals on the planet are so difficult to see and study. Much of what we know about squids comes from looking at their remains in whale stomachs, that’s how difficult they are to observe.
“Beebe’s Abyssal Fish”
In the 1930’s, deep sea scientist William Beebe took his bathysphere, a metal sphere-shaped ship that could take him into deep waters, down into the depths off the coast of Bermuda. He was the first person to get a look at the wild creatures that can survive deep ocean conditions.
Beebe didn’t have any kind of equipment that could take pictures of what he saw, but he did make a lot of detailed notes. Some of the animals he describes have never been seen since. Some of them had teeth, some of them had tentacles, and some of them had no visible signs of organs, bio-luminescent or not.
Why is it that in 2016 we can’t find fish that someone found in 1930. Did they learn how to hide better?!
The Bimini Road
Also called the “Bimini Wall” this stone structure is near North Bimini Island in the Bahamas. It’s about a half a mile of limestone rocks that look like a road, or maybe the top of a wall.
The generally accepted belief is that while the formation is unusual, it is naturally occurring. What probably happened was that carbonate sediments built up during the past several thousand years. When those sediments were subjected to freshwater cementation, they formed a hard band which was later exposed and carved into rectangles by erosion. “Natural pavements” formed this way can be seen in other places worldwide.
However there are some divers who claim that another layer of stones beneath the top layer indicated that the road was man made. Some scientist claim that the shape of the rocks clearly indicates that they were human carved.
This probably is another one for the conspiracy theorists out there, but who knows? Is it possible that these roads are evidence of lost civilizations? Even if they aren’t, it’s pretty creepy that the ocean is just naturally producing things that could pass for man made. That, in and of itself, is bizarre.
The oceans are beautiful, important, amazing, and terrifying. We couldn’t live without them and yet I hope to live as far from them as I can for the rest of my life. Support the continued study of our planet’s oceans by scientists who are somehow not afraid of doing that, and keep our oceans clean!