The ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, yet we don’t often realize just how truly deep and mysterious it is. National Ocean Service reports that around 95% of the ocean is unexplored, meaning that we really have no idea what lies deep down beneath the surface. Likely inspired by the mystery, Randall Munroe of xkcd decided to draw a comic titled “Lakes and Oceans”, combining both the facts we know about the deep sea as well as humorous details to explain just how shallow our knowledge of the waters is.
Positioned at the top of the illustration, the Great Lakes freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in 1975 in water that was shallower than it was long (the ship was over 200m long while it was found at the depth of 160m). The illustration also features such elements as the famous RMS Titanic, Burj Khalifa and even stick figures of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, a clever reference to their song “Under Pressure”! At the bottom of the image, around 10,916 m is the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point on Earth, which is in the Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean. James Cameron made a descent to the bottom of it on 26 March 2012 and filmed his experience. The door in the picture is fictional, however, as the artist is only implying that Cameron went so deep to reach it, instead of making the descent just for the sake of it.
While Cameron reported only seeing tiny amphipods and no fish, we can only imagine what swims at the rest of the unexplored 95% of the ocean as some creatures found by a Russian fisherman Roman Fedortsov look like monsters out of our worst nightmares.
More info: xkcd.com