Everyday is World Ocean Day for the Mermaid
I may have grown up on a small lake, but the ocean has always been a part of my soul. Not just like hey I like to go to the beach, more along the lines of what Sylvia Earle said, “Every time I slip into the ocean, it's like I’m going home". Now decades later I get to slip into the ocean nearly every day and bring other people into my world. June 8th was world oceans day, so I thought this would a good time to share with you some interesting things about the ocean and a few of the must-see ocean documentaries.
I’m sure like many of you I love to listen to the sound of the ocean waves. Many of us also love to play in the waves, and while doing so we have learned to respect the power of those waves and the ocean. On the Gulf Coast of Florida, it is not common for us to see big waves, defiantly not anywhere near as big as the waves of the Pacific Ocean. There would be days we would go to Ocean beach just to watch the 10 to 15ft waves, and all the surfers connect to that wave energy and ride it. Those ten-foot waves carry and immense amount of power, now imagine waves of 650ft that travel thousands of miles. These massive waves are called internal waves which take place between two fluids with two different densities. These waves are “under the sea” so they are not visible to us, but they have a vital role in transferring heat, energy, and momentum in the ocean.
It's pretty common knowledge that the oceans cover 70% of the earth's surface, but what is not common knowledge is that the average depth of the ocean is 12,100 ft, making most of the earth dark because light waves can only penetrate 30 feet of water. What also may be surprising is that the deepest parts of the ocean actually have hot water. This is due to water coming out of hydrothermal vents in the seafloor. The water coming from these vents can be 750 degrees Fahrenheit but does not boil because of the incredible amount of pressure. So, let’s put that into some perspective, Just the Pacific Ocean is wider than the moon, the average depth of our oceans is 12,000 feet with 650ft waves in complete darkness with water that can reach 750deg. Maybe these are some of the factors that contribute to 80% of the oceans remining unexplored and us knowing more about the surface of mars than the ocean. So basically, we know a whole lot of nothing about where 95% of the life on the planet exist.
While we have very little understanding of our oceans, we are beginning to grasp just how much damage we are doing to them and how it is impacting human life. Three major threats facing our oceans are nutrient pollution. plastic pollution and overfishing.
Nutrient pollution as a result of monoculture and development.
Excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous have led to a substantial increase in harmful algae blooms and ocean dead zones. There is currently around 500 oceans dead zones being monitored with the largest being at the base of the Mississippi river. This dead zone varies in size for year to year from about 6,000sq miles to 8,000 square miles.
~ Plastic pollution is the next biggest threat to our oceans.
More than five trillion pieces of plastic pollution are afloat in the oceans. Every square mile of our oceans contains 45,000 individual pieces of plastic. It is estimated that by the year 2050 there will be 937 million tons of plastic in the ocean, meaning there will be more plastic than fish. Already plastic has found its way in the deepest parts of the ocean. In six of the oceans deepest crevasses tiny marine life was discovered eating plastic.
~Overfishing is another massive problem out ocean face.
Almost a third of global fish stocks are overfished. Fish that were once extremely abundant, such as bluefin tuna, are now becoming increasingly endangered. Overfishing also includes Bycatch, whereby large amounts of unwanted sea animals are captured during the fishing for a particular species and then are discarded as waste, causing the unnecessary loss of billions of fish and sea creatures. When fish stocks are overfished, essential predators and prey are removed from the food chain. This means that creature above and below them are also impacted.
Our oceans are facing some pretty serious threats and since human life is dependent on the ocean, we can say that humans are also facing some serious threats. Over the last decade technology has made it possible to document and experience some incredible ocean stories creating some amazing documentaries. The following list of documentaries are not only visually beautiful but full of information and solution and should be required watching.
Experiencing the ocean firsthand with a mermaid is also a great way to connect and learn about our oceans and to get inspired to begin to make the changes necessary to save our seas. Until next time stay salty.
~ The Mermaid