Ocean vs. Space: Which Is the True Final Frontier?

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Ocean vs. Space: Which Is the True Final Frontier? Empty Ocean vs. Space: Which Is the True Final Frontier?

Post by eddie on Wed 10 Apr 2019 - 22:54

Space may be called "the final frontier," but anyone who has seen a picture of a goblin shark or a vampire squid will agree that the ocean can be downright alien. Both realms are ripe for exploration, offer extensive potential benefits and come at a hefty price.

So which wins in a battle between the two for the title of the final frontier? Which area of exploration will result in the greater good for humanity?

Space has been the clear leader for a long time. $17.8 billion dollars is going toward space exploration in 2013, compared to the $5 billion dollars that goes toward oceanic exploration. This discrepancy has led to skewed results: While 500 individuals have been sent into space, only three have visited the deepest part of the ocean

We have better maps of the surface of Mars than we do of our own ocean floor, and we understand more about the dark side of the moon than ocean life. Despite centuries of ocean exploration, we’ve only covered about 5% of the ocean.

“In that 5% we have some of the most amazing things on this planet. We’ve got a mountain range, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, that has thousands of peaks taller than the Alps are, for instance," said Dr. Paul Bunje, senior director of prize development and ocean health, “You’ve got, every time someone goes down, new species that are wondrous and unbelievably strange sometimes. And in reality, if you take all of the world’s oceans, that’s 99% of our living space on Earth, and we know almost nothing about it."

Bunje also said that there are three reasons why the oceans deserve more research love: food, jobs and oxygen.

The ocean produces 20% of the world’s protein supply, and 3 billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihood. The ocean also produces 70% of Earth’s oxygen. These statistics, to Bunje and other ocean activists, mean that dangers like ocean acidification and climate change need our attention.



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Post by Ben Reilly on Wed 10 Apr 2019 - 23:18

Totally agree that it's the ocean that deserves more research. Space is mostly dead rocks, whereas we lack so much knowledge of the first place anything lived on this planet.

Funding would also go a lot farther, as it's way cheaper to build a submarine than a spaceship.

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Post by 'Wolfie on Thu 11 Apr 2019 - 1:47

Ocean vs. Space: Which Is the True Final Frontier? 1530246098

Two more current threats to our oceans that the good Doctor should have added,  in addition to Climate Change and 'acidification', are  :

*  Plastic waste" polluting so much of our waterways, and ending up in those "floating garbage dumps" in the Pacific and Atlantic;  

(while the world's attention has been focussed on the NE Pacific, there are also 3 smaller patches --
One in the western Pacific, and two in the Atlantic.. .)

*  Increasing harvesting of krill and phytoplankton  by Japanese and Taiwanese 'floating factories --  further damaging the ecology, lifecycles and biomass..


Phytoplankton is the #1 source of Oxygen for this planet, well ahead of the Amazon rainforests and Russia's 'Great Forest'; (though, not sure if it's as high as the "70%" quoted in the O/P --  45 -->> 50% might be more accurate ?).


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