Recent discoveries, such as the Pacific white skate using deep sea vents to incubate egg cases, have shown us just how little we truly understand about our deep oceans. Celebrity business owners may push for more resources for space exploration, but we have essentially an underwater world on 71% of our planet that’s under explored—and growing more heavily polluted by the day. Climate change is fundamentally altering the oceans and our relationship with them via ocean heat and sea surface temperature, sea levels and coastal flooding as well as ocean acidity. Oh and then there’s the plastic.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 95% of our oceans were unexplored as of 2000. In fact, the deep oceans could be the secret to mining rare earths, which are a group of chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust vital to a lot of modern tech, like consumer electronics, clean energy, health care and transportation. They’re not actually rare but appear in very small concentrations and are usually dangerous and expensive to extract.