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Voyage to the deep sea and its impact on science



Reaching the highest peak on earth was only reserved for the bravest. But … let’s move on to today.

An expedition to Mount Everest is considered very expensive, although easy to organize. It is estimated that about 4,000 adventurers have conquered the highest peak on the planet.

The journey in the opposite direction, into the deep sea, is a wider world to discover. The deeper you go, the less is known about the vast oceans.

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Deep sea

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Deep sea

Where exactly is the bottom of the sea? There is no official definition that explains where the deep sea begins. Scientists use around 50 meters as a guide. At that distance you can still reach with oxygen tanks.

On the continental shelf, at two hundred meters is where the sea begins to deepen. This is the reason why the measurement that is most used to define the beginning of depth is at 200 m.

In the abyss of the depths is where the largest territory on the planet is found. There the temperature is two degrees Celsius and there is no sunlight. Total darkness reigns in this environment. The sun’s rays penetrate up to about 300 m deep into the ocean. Hence, the only sample of luminosity that can exist is that generated by living beings or lava from the ocean floor.

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A little history about the deep sea

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Submarine Trieste

The number of organisms that live on the ocean floor is uncountable. Thanks to scientific expeditions, this amazing world has become known.

Only 3 people are lucky enough to explore the deepest areas of the planet. The first trip He was aboard Trieste in 1960. This submarine was built by Auguste Piccard. He said: I was the first to ascend into the stratosphere in a capsule; Why not make a similar one to dive into the depths?

His son, Jacques Piccard, along with Lieutenant Donald Walsh, were the first to reach a depth of 10,911 meters. For about 20 minutes they were observing through a tiny window, the immensity of the sea depths.

In 1964, the submarine named Alvin was built in the United States. At present this submarine is considered the most important in scientific research.

Then, in 2012, aboard the Deepsea challenger filmmaker James Cameron plunged into the Mariana Trench.

Despite these costly incursions, traveling to the depths of the oceans continues to be a privilege. Efforts to discover the depths are few compared to the large investments to explore space.

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Impact on deep sea science

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Oil industry

There are many products made from organisms that live in the deep ocean. People with asthma, Alzheimer’s, tuberculosis, and other disorders are treated with drugs made from them.

Other branches such as the oil and paper industries have their sights set on the depths. Bioprospecting of the deep sea is achieving promising results.

There is no restriction on the exploitation of the ocean floor for research. It is only necessary to have sufficient financial means and modern technology.

Marine biodiversity is uncountable in many parts of the world. An example of this is the Indo-Pacific Ocean. In its waters, up to 1000 species of living beings can be found per square meter.

In this wide and competitive environment, organisms have developed strategies to survive. Experience and study have shown that there are many possibilities to discover useful compounds for the pharmaceutical industry at sea.

Today, small biotech firms are making these discoveries. The big pharmaceutical companies only pass the orders.

Many are the benefits obtained from the ocean floor. Globally, it is estimated to be around billions of dollars obtained from marine media products.

A small example is the sea sponge compound, which is used to fight herpes. This represents around 50 to 100 million dollars annually only extracted from marine organisms.

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