Quantcast
Connect with us

Voyage to see what’s on the bottom

Published

on

I am perplexed that as I scan the news, not more has been made of an amazing event that took place about three months ago. Amazing because of what happened– something never done before in human history.

Amazing because of who did it– a Hollywood film director, widely known, and in some quarters resented for, his blockbuster movies.

But what took place was real, and not a movie.

ADVERTISEMENT

And amazing, perhaps most amazing of all, is how in this supposed Information Age, so few people seem to care that it happened, or even have heard about it.

What gives?

What’s considered important in today’s media landscape?

Justin Beiber? Donald Trump?

Granted, it wasn’t on Dancing With the Stars, so it’s not that generally known to the American public. But still…

What happened was this:

James Cameron –yes, that James Cameron, got into a tiny, experimental submarine and descended to the very bottom of the deepest part of the ocean. No human being ever reached this part of the sea floor alive before. This type of expedition was last tried around 52 years ago, without anything like this measure of success.

Where submarine exploration is concerned, anything below 650 feet is considered “deep sea.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The record for the deepest recorded dive is 2,000 feet.

The greatest depth that light can penetrate is 3,280 feet. The Sperm Whale battles the Giant Squid no deeper than 3,770 feet. The Titanic rests on the ocean floor at about 12,000 feet.

In the Western Pacific, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench goes down 11 kilometers, or 6.8 miles. 35,756 feet.

ADVERTISEMENT

The deepest spot on Earth, it’s distinguished by profound cold, complete absence of light– and enormous, crushing pressure.

When you fly on an airplane, you know how when you fly above the clouds and you look far, far down, and then, if there’s a gap in the cloud layer, you might catch sight of the ground, dimly seen far, far below that?

ADVERTISEMENT

The Mariana Trench is deeper than you are high at that moment.

If Mount Everest, Earth’s highest mountain, were at the bottom, there would still be a mile of water above its highest peak.

At the very bottom, the pressure exerted by the water column above is approximately 1099 times that at the surface, 6 tons on every square inch. Most bathyscapes or submarines, if they ventured there, would simply be crushed in an instant.

ADVERTISEMENT

So James Cameron traveled to the bottom. His special, anomalous submersible was not crushed, and he survived. He shot video– in 3-D! –of his searchlight passing over monumental cliff walls of rock.

Moreover, he did something else no one has ever managed to do before. With his specially designed and equipped ship he took a biological sample, and brought it back.

Now I know lots of people just don’t like Cameron. They didn’t like Avatar or his undersea movie The Abyss. They especially didn’t like his exuberant use of the phrase, “King of the World!” when he accepted his Academy Award for Titanic.

Come on– he was only quoting a line from his movie, which was being honored. What’s the big deal?

ADVERTISEMENT

At any rate, he followed his passion– to do something dangerous and unprecedented.

I say he gets a pass.

[Here’s a link to a graphic on ocean exploration I received from a friend, Meika Jensen:]

Exploring the Deep Sea

ADVERTISEMENT

illustrations above by Hal Robins


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Coronavirus data disappears from CDC dashboard after Trump hijacks info

Published

on

The Trump administration on Tuesday forced all hospitals and states to make a significant and immediate change in how they report coronavirus patient data, hijacking the information to be funneled into the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Experts warned the move could allow the administration to politicize the data, hide it, be less transparent, all of which interferes in the real-time usage of information to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Driver hits 63-year-old man with his car after he asked him to wear a mask in a store: police

Published

on

A Rhode Island driver is being accused of hitting a 63-year-old man with his car after the man had confronted him about not wearing a face mask into a local convenience store.

Local news station WJAR 10 reports that 63-year-old William Beauchene got into an argument this week with a 30-year-old man named Ralph Buontempo, who had gone into the convenience store in the town of Lincoln, Rhode Island without wearing a mask.

Witnesses told police that the two men began yelling obscenities at one another, and that at one point Buontempo slapped a cup of coffee out of Beauchene's hand, which then splashed all over the store manager who had come outside to try to deescalate the confrontation.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump has rolled out a ‘new scam’ amid internal turmoil over Fauci: op-ed

Published

on

Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, Greg Sargent takes a look at the Trump's administration's recent walkback of its attempts to undermine its top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after they discovered that it wasn't being received by the public so well.

According to Sargent, President Trump's "new scam" is to present the image that his administration actually respects Fauci's advice while continuing to undermine him behind the scenes.

"What’s really going on here is a kind of two-step, a double game," Sargent writes. "Trump and his advisers want him to reap the political benefits of appearing to harbor general respect for Fauci’s expertise, while simultaneously continuing to undermine Fauci’s actual claims about the threat the novel coronavirus will continue to pose — because those claims badly undermine Trump’s reelection message."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image