6 REASONS TO CARE ABOUT THE OCEAN
NASA launched – the first manned spacecraft to leave the Earth’s orbit, reach the moon and return – the three-man crew became the first humans to ever witness “earthrise”. Floating in the perpetual darkness of space over 300,000 kilometres away from civilisation, they gazed back to take a look at our Earth; Only half visible, a blue marble slowly spinning – our blue planet.
It is this image of Earth that makes you realise how large, beautiful and important the ocean really is – separating us from the dry, dusty world of Mars, and the hydrogen and helium clouds of Jupiter. It created life, and now we are unconsciously destroying it. While non-human intelligence is a hotly contested and controversial topic, we know that cetaceans are some of the world’s smartest animals. Once we realise how intelligent marine life is, we will hopefully feel less inclined to wipe it all out and make efforts to preserve it What lies in the dark depths of the ocean is a question marine scientists have been asking since Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh first descended to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Since then, thousands of deep sea discoveries have amazed oceanographers worldwide It isn’t only small coastal and island settlements that rely on the vast treasures the ocean brings – the ocean itself is a key factor in our own survival. Around half of the oxygen we breathe is present in the atmosphere due to the tiny phytoplankton which lie in the oceans, and scientists have tipped the big blue as a promising source of new medicines to combat cancer, pain and bacterial disease