We Know More About Mars Than We Do About The Ocean Floor

Although the ocean covers more than 70% of our planet's surface, we've only explored about 5% of it. Some people are surprised to learn that we have mapped all of the ocean floor, however-the map is just at a lower resolution than those we have of Venus, Mars, and our moon. Sea water interferes with the radio waves needed to map the ocean floor using radar, so satellites create maps by looking at the height of the sea's surface and extrapolating information about the floor beneath. As of 2015, we've mapped the entire ocean floor to a resolution of approximately 5 kilometers. (But we still haven't traveled to the vast majority of it.)

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Each year, the NOAA maps an area of the ocean floor the size of West Virginia. 00:08

  2. In April 2015, NOAA oceanographers observed hundreds of underwater species on an expedition to the deep regions around Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 00:33

  3. Humans have only explored around 5% of the ocean. 01:16

Written by Curiosity Staff November 19, 2015

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